Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe was buried on October 28 in his home village of Kutama, ending an argument between his clan and the government of his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe (95) died in a Singapore hospital on September from cancer after chemotherapy treatment was stopped because it was no longer effective.
Mugabe and is family were bitter about the way he was ousted in coup-d’état by his former ally Emmerson Mnangagwa. After Mugabe‘s death family entered a dispute with incumbent President Mnangagwa, who was represented by government officials, offering the burial at the monument for liberation war heroes. The proposal assessed by many as an attempt to use an opportunity to reach public reconciliation with Mugabe’s supporters.
Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will address mourners of late Robert Mugabe at the National Sports Stadium, where thousands will wear the colours of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Meanwhile African leaders are assembling in Harare, the capital, as the country prepares for former president Robert Mugabe‘s funeral on September 14 (Saturday).
Robert Mugabe family explained the late leader will be buried at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare in “around 30 days”, Leo Mugabe said, acting as family spokesperson, adding to controversial information about the obsequies details.
“The government and the chiefs went to the Heroes Acre, showed each other where President Mugabe is going to be buried, and that place would take about 30 days to complete,” Leo Mugabe said.
“So what that means is the burial will take that long.”
More than a dozen incumbent and former leaders, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, are expected to attend. Some dignitaries, including Equatorial Guinea President Theodore Obiang Nguema, have already arrived.
A national sports stadium with capacity of 60 000 seats is expected to be filled with well-wishers. It is located in Harare close to the Heroes Acre.
The funeral follows an argument between the Mugabe family, and the government over his burial.
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s ousted President, will be buried early next week in his native village next to his mother’s grave, and not at a national monument for liberation heroes, the family informed on September 12.
The Mugabe family members, who surrounded him when he died in Singapore hospital last week, and Zimbabwe‘s government have been at odds over whether the he could be buried in his homestead in Kutama, or at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.. followed by a private burial – either Monday or Tuesday – no National Heroes Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.
Zimbabwe assesses the so-called “legacy” of Robert Mugabe, who was the national leader for 37 years.The majority of comments focus on his metamorphose from a liberator to a dictator, ruining the future of many to benefit of few. The social media users point at the bitter irony of the situation of the leader who promised to improve Zimbabwe healthcare system, but ruined it instead, and ended his days in a foreign land, treated by foreign specialists.
However the health care was not the only endeavor, damaged by mismanagement. While reflecting upon Mugabe‘s ‘legacy’ commentators point out that his policies had devastating effect on all the endowments, degrading the economy from what universally was regarded as “jewel” to a current state of deprivation, with five million people risking hunger, according to the United Nations World Food Programme, calling for immediate humanitarian action.
During almost four decades of leadership, Mugabe kept the grip on power by the brutal repression of political opponents, established a culture of impunity for himself and his cronies, and his government implemented a series of policies that have had disastrous consequences for the nation, ruining the wealth accumulated by hard work of generations.
Since 1982, Amnesty International has been receiving reports of human rights violations and abuses by state security agents, targeting suspected of sympathising with Mugabe’s political opponents.
Human rights defenders, journalists, dissidents and opposition party activists were imprisoned on politically motivated charges or under oppressive laws. Many were tortured, and some forcibly disappeared, or killed.
Robert Mugabe (95) died September 6 early morning hours at Singapore’s Gleneagles Hospital, according to Asian country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cause of death has not been released so far, however taking into consideration his age, Mugabe passed away due to natural causes. The Singapore diplomats expressed their condolences and said the Ministry has been working with the Embassy of Zimbabwe on repatriating the remains to Harare.
Nelson Chamisa, leader of the country’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) extended his condolences to the Mugabe family and to Africa this morning, saying that it was a “dark moment for the family because a giant among them has fallen.”
Unnamed family members disclosed that Mugabe explicitly refused a prospect of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies to perform his last rites having, because of removing him from leadership in a military coup in November 2017,
The source suggested that Mugabe’s preference was to be buried next to his family members next to his mother Bona at his rural home in Zvimba, Mashonaland West province.
The European Union began political talks aimed at turning the page on hostile relations during Robert Mugabe’s era, enabling a resumption of direct financial aid for the developing economy.
At the start of the open-ended talks between diplomats and officials in Harare (pictured), the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Timo Olkkonen announced they aim to discuss issues including economic development, trade, investment, rights, rule of law and good governance.
The government has already signed up to an IMF monitoring programme where it has committed to political and economic reforms in a bid to set a track record of fiscal discipline that could lead to it debt cuts, and future financial aid.
At a separate event in a Harare hotel, President Mnangagwa signed a new bill creating a tripartite negotiating forum intended to assemble labour, business and government to shape policies.
Zimbabwe protesters blocked the roads and burned tires in a suburb of Harare , two days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a considerable fuel price hike in an effort to stem a deepening economic crisis.
Cash shortages have plunged Zimbabwe’s economy into disarray, threatening widespread social unrest and undermining Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back foreign investors who massively left under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa’s announcement of a 150% increase in fuel prices was received with shock in Zimbabwe where unemployment is over 80%. The government sets fuel prices via the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Agency.