Mugabe to be buried in his village early next week: family

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Farai Dziva|Emmerson Mnangagwa and former First Lady Grace Mugabe will meet to discuss the way forward on the burial of the late former President Robert Mugabe.

People queue at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, where former President Robert Mugabe will lie in state for a public viewing.

"We are gathered here to received his body, we are grieved and we say our honest and deep condolences to the former first lady who has brought the body amai Grace Mugabe with us here and the children who are also here and the immediate family who are here".

"As the immediate family of the late Mugabe, we are ready and willing to work with the government of Zimbabwe to develop a programme for the funeral and burial of the late Mugabe which is in conformance to his wishes on how his mortal remains will be interred".

The former leader had been travelling to Singapore regularly for medical treatment, but his health deteriorated rapidly after his ouster, which allies say left him a "broken soul".

With just days to go before his burial on Sunday, there is still no word on whether the government and family have come to an agreement on where Zimbabwe's founding father will be buried.

The Imperial Palace Tokyo
The Imperial Palace Tokyo

But the family said traditional chiefs in his homestead in the Zvimba region should decide where he should be buried.

Around two thousand supporters, family members and government officials were on the tarmac at Harare airport to welcome Mugabe's remains as they arrived by charter flight from Singapore. His body was returned back to the capital city of Harare on Thursday.

"His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night. followed by a private burial - either Monday or Tuesday - no National Heroe's Acre". After being held for 24 hours, it has since been transported to the Mugabe home in Borrowdale where a church service is being held by the family, with scores of ZANU-PF branch members, as well as the current head of state, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in attendance. The state preferred the National Heroes' Acre in Harare.

Grace Mugabe is expected to stay beside the casket the entire time.

Mugabe's first wife, Sally, is buried there next to a gravesite long reserved for the ex-leader.

Mnangagwa himself is under pressure after promising to attract investment and create jobs in a post-Mugabe era, with little success.

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