Small burial for Mugabe

The Mugabe family opted to bury Zimbabwe's founding father in Kutama after weeks of wrangling with the government, who wanted the body to rest at the National Heroes' Acre in Harare.

30 September 2019 | Africa

The body of Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was buried on Saturday in his rural village of Kutama, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

The family of Mugabe gathered in his rural homestead, three weeks after his death, to attend a much-awaited burial ceremony.

Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on 6 September aged 95, almost two years after a military coup ended his despotic 37-year rule.

His remains were laid to rest in the courtyard of his home in the district of Zvimba, about 90 kilometres west of the capital Harare. Hundreds of mourners assembled for the low-key event, which was initially intended to be a private family ceremony. Many wore white Mugabe-emblazoned T-shirts with the slogans 'founding father', 'liberator' and 'torch bearer'.

Some were singing and dancing. Others sat quietly under two white tents set up for the occasion.

Mugabe's widow Grace and his children accompanied the casket - draped in Zimbabwe's green, yellow, red and black flag.

Clad in black, they took place in an elevated VIP tent ahead of the service. White flower installations spelt out the words 'DAD' and 'BABA', meaning 'father' in the local Shona language. “Our hearts are bleeding because we have lost our father,” said the priest, standing next to a portrait of Mugabe framed by white carnations. “This is a man who made use of the gifts he was given by God. This man was an asset, he was not a liability.” No senior government officials were among the audience.

The Mugabe family opted to bury Zimbabwe's founding father in Kutama after weeks of wrangling with the government, who wanted the body to rest at the National Heroes' Acre in Harare.

A mausoleum was being constructed at the site, which is reserved for heroes of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle. “What we have done is his wish,” said Grace's older sister Shuvai Gumbochuma, addressing mourners in Shona.

“He (Mugabe) said with his own mouth that he didn't want to be buried at the heroes' acre.”

Ruling Zanu-PF party described the family's decision as “most unfortunate”. “All patriotic Zimbabweans were shocked to learn that the remains of the former president had been surreptitiously taken yesterday to Zvimba for a private burial,” said spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo in a statement on Friday.

Former guerilla leader Mugabe took power after independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Initially hailed as a pan-African liberator, Mugabe's rule became increasingly repressive as he cracked down on his political opponents.

This combined with a series of disastrous economic policies that drove millions of Zimbabweans abroad.

Mugabe was eventually toppled by his formerly loyal military generals in 2017. Many in the family are bitter over his ouster and the role played by his deputy and successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was elected president in 2018. The army turned against Mugabe after he sacked Mnangagwa, a move many saw as an attempt to position Grace to succeed him.

Zimbabwe remains deeply split over his legacy.

“I was very comfortable that he be buried at the heroes' acre,” said local official Christopher Ndlovu before the ceremony.

“That's what we wanted as local villagers. But since it's a family decision to bury him here, we will respect it.”

NAMPA/AFP

NAMPA/AFP

Similar News

 

Namibian companies consider AfCFTA boon

2 months ago - 19 November 2019 | Africa

CATHERINE SASMANNamibia recently signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) that could potentially unlock the massive African market of 1.2 billion people as the...

Small burial for Mugabe

3 months ago - 30 September 2019 | Africa

The body of Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was buried on Saturday in his rural village of Kutama, an AFP reporter at the scene said.The...

Another dos Santos falls

3 months ago - 30 September 2019 | Africa

One year ago, the dos Santos family handed the Angolan presidency over to Joao Lourenco. The new president promised to tackle corruption which crippled the...

South Africans are not xenophobic

4 months ago - 17 September 2019 | Africa

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has apologised for the violent attacks by South Africans against nationals of other African countries, saying South Africans are not...

Mugabe: Hero or zero?

4 months ago - 16 September 2019 | Africa

Some believe the late Robert Mugabe was thrown into the dustbin of history when he was deposed as president of Zimbabwe in 2017, yet many...

Mugabe: Liberation hero turned despot

4 months ago - 06 September 2019 | Africa

Robert Mugabe, who has died aged 95, used repression and fear to hold on to power in Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was finally...

Namibia urges vigilance after SA attacks

4 months ago - 03 September 2019 | Africa

The Namibian High Commission in South Africa has issued an advisory, urging countrymen and women in and around the Gauteng Province to be vigilant following...

Strengthening news from the sub-region

5 months ago - 20 August 2019 | Africa

The Southern African Broadcasting Association (Saba), in partnership with the national broadcasters of countries in the region, officially commissioned the Eye on SADC news programme...

Bureau Veritas inspires

5 months ago - 16 August 2019 | Africa

Bureau Veritas Southern Africa, the global leader in testing, inspection and certification, continues to spark interest in the southern African professional working environment. The company...

SADC condoles with Tanzania after fuel tanker...

5 months ago - 11 August 2019 | Africa

Outgoing SADC chair President Hage Geingob has extended condolences to the government and people of Tanzania over the victims of a fuel tanker explosion, which...

Latest News

Erindi sale in Tweya’s hands

11 hours ago | Environment

OGONE TLHAGE Minister of industrialisation Tjekero Tweya is set to facilitate a public consultative process regarding the planned sale of the Erindi...

Policy bottlenecks harm Peugeot sales

11 hours ago | Business

Only a paltry 93 vehicles – out of a targeted 1 551 - have been assembled at the Walvis Bay Peugeot plant since its launch...

Nation awaits EVM judgement with...

11 hours ago | Justice

Namibians must wait until February 6 to hear whether the Supreme Court will uphold the outcome of the November 27 general election or order a...

Let’s be consistent on flag...

11 hours ago | Opinion

The police have been directed by cabinet to see to it that the national flag is used for what is outlined in law.Cabinet secretary George...

Let's hope for a good...

11 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA It is no secret that the past two years were not the best for sport in the country, with...

Nghipandulwa off to Brazil

11 hours ago | Sports

One of Namibia's upcoming football referees, Samuel Nghipandula, left for Port Alegre, Brazil, on Friday to participate in the world-famous youth tournament, the 2020 IberCup,...

Afcon 2021 dates changed

11 hours ago | Sports

The Brave Warriors' Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 qualifying matches have been brought forward after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) changed the hosting...

Ambunda plots redemption

11 hours ago | Sports

Namibia's former boxing world champion Paulus 'El Jesus' Ambunda has begun plotting his way back to greatness. Ambunda says he is eager to make a...

Evidence stuck in grieving mother's...

11 hours ago | Justice

A N$3 million wrongful death lawsuit against the police stemming from the killing of a child who was struck by a stray bullet on Valentine's...

Load More