Former President Mugabe's body to arrive home Wednesday


Mugabe who died at the age of 95 was removed from power through a coup in 2017.

His health deteriorated after he was toppled by the military and former loyalists in November 2017, ending an increasingly tyrannical rule that sent the economy into ruin.

On arrival in Zimbabwe, Mugabe's body will be taken straight to his village in Kutama, in Zvimba district west of the capital Harare, for an overnight wake.

When pressed on where Mugabe would be buried, Leo Mugabe was non-committal.

"Being a Catholic, he tried his level best to live according to Christian values, and I know people have mixed feelings in the way he practised his Christian values", Kennedy Muguti, the vicar general of the archdiocese of Harare, told The Associated Press after the Mass.

"He was bitter. You can imagine people you trusted - people that were guarding you, looking after, your security turn against you".

Moyo said the Mnangagwa government was being hypocritical in claiming that it was helping the former president foot his medical bills then and now helping with the repatriation of his body.

Zimbabweans still struggle daily to access basic services and supplies, leaving many divided over how to mourn a former leader once hailed as a liberation hero but who later brutally repressed his opponents.

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Mugabe's family is pushing back against the government's plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare and wants him to be interred in his home village, relatives have told Reuters.

The body will arrive in the country "any time on Wednesday", she said.

But the cleric is more sanguine about how the man who led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980 felt at the end of his long life: "He was ready to go, he was willing to go, he was hoping to go".

The body will be kept at his Harare house commonly known as the Blue Roof overnight Thursday and Friday.

The official funeral will be held on Saturday at the giant 60,000-seat National Sports Stadium in Harare and foreign leaders are expected to attend.

The government and his family also reportedly involved in discussions over the location of his final resting place.

"Heads of State/Government are expected to depart immediately after the ceremony taking into consideration that Government authorities will be fully occupied with preparations for the burial service/ceremony reserved for Sunday15 September 2019", it said.

"Mugabe was a chief and he will be buried in accordance with tradition".