Robert Mugabe set to receive state funeral at Zimbabwe sports stadium


Tensions have simmered between Mugabe's family and Mnangagwa, a former ally who turned against him when the military helped oust Mugabe in 2017 after his wife Grace appeared to be preparing to succeed him in office.

The family appointed Mr Leo Mugabe as its sole spokesperson.

This was contained in a letter to the President of Zimbabwe mourning the death of her former President, Robert Mugabe.

President Mnangagwa has expressed surprise that some members of former President Robert Mugabe's family are not in the country allegedly fearing persecution and were anxious about being barred from attending the funeral of the veteran nationalist who passed away on Friday morning, The Herald heard yesterday.

Mugabe died on Friday aged 95 in Singapore, where he had long received medical treatment.

A government memo declared the funeral will be at Harare National Sports stadium on Saturday, September 14th but gave no location for the burial to follow the next day.

"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 practiced his Christian values", Kennedy Muguti, the vicar-general of the archdiocese of Harare, told The Associated Press after the Mass.

Charamba said contrary to reports in some sections of the media, there was never any differences of opinion between Government and family on where the former President would be buried. We had told him that the President looked forward to seeing him upon his return and he had also expressed similar sentiments that he would be delighted to meet the President.

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We commend the efforts of DG Moyo who worked hard to keep lines of communication open between Cde Mugabe and the Government.

Chris Sambo, a former soccer administrator who used to arrange matches for Mugabe in Kutama, said the southern African country's Catholic community had lost one of its most important members.

Mugabe and Xi had been all weather friends with China siding with us against the West who imposed sanctions on us, " said Mr Charamba.

"As we join Zimbabwe to mourn the departure of the great leader, please accept on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria and my own behalf, our honest condolences". And we became poorer.

"We want him buried here".

Many in downtown Harare said at the weekend that they were saddened by Mugabe's death because of his central role in the struggle against colonial rule and because he had broadened access to education.

But his ousting in 2017 was accompanied by celebrations across the country of 13 million, and critics at home and overseas viewed him as a power-obsessed autocrat who unleashed death squads, rigged elections and ruined the economy to keep control.