Published: Thu, September 12, 2019

Grace Mugabe accompanies former Zimbabwean dictator's body home amid row over funeral

Grace Mugabe accompanies former Zimbabwean dictator's body home amid row over funeral

A plane bringing the body of Robert Mugabe back to the country landed at the main airport named after the former president at 3.25PM on Wednesday.

The body of Cde Mugabe touched down at the RGM International Airport at 3.35 p.m aboard a Chartered flight to a rousing welcome from hundreds of mourners who included Zanu-PF supporters, Government Ministers, hordes of local and foreign journalists.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The body of Zimbabwe's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe has arrived in the capital, Harare, where it was met by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and a full military delegation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, former Cuban leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe's state funeral on Saturday in Harare, Zimbabwe's presidency said.

This as the standard in Zimbabwe, although Mugabe's has explained that the former head of state never forgave those who ousted him.

Mugabe’s supporters arrived at the airport to welcome his body home
Mugabe’s supporters arrived at the airport to welcome his body home

According to Leo, Mugabe was a chief hence he would be buried according to traditional rites. A programme would be announced by the home affairs ministry later in the day, he said. This has prompted speculation of a rift between the government and members of Mugabe's family, who want him to be buried at his rural home in Kutama, about 85 kilometers (52 miles) southwest of Harare.

His body will lie in state on Thursday and Friday to allow the public to pay their last respects. Family spokesperson Leo Mugabe was not picking calls yesterday. That historic moment was even more emotional for us because our own reggae superstar Mr Robert Nesta Marley was in Harare, at the invitation of Mr Mugabe, to perform, because Mr Marley's songs served as motivation for the freedom fighters.

Vice-president Constantino Chiwenga, the former general who led the coup that overthrew Mr. Mugabe, was notably absent at the airport. "They (witches/ wizards) are also allowed to mourn a fellow neighbour and console the bereaved family", Muoni said. He added the sentiments were emanating from quarters bent on fomenting divisions within the ruling Zanu-PF in a bid to achieve regime change.

All that, as we said, was expected. "He led the liberation struggle to its very end and we are indebted to him for the freedom and democracy we enjoy today". Chief Secretary in the Office of the President Misheck Sibanda yesterday said Mugabe will be missed by the generality of Zimbabweans, describing him as a true son of the soil.


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