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

 

AU passport to be rolled out this year

1 week ago - 13 January 2021 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe African Union (AU) passport is set to be rolled out fully...

Namibia ready for AfCFTA trade opportunities

2 weeks ago - 06 January 2021 | Africa

NAMPA WINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob says Namibia is ready to seize trade opportunities offered by the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area...

AfCFTA: What’s in it for us?

3 weeks ago - 05 January 2021 | Africa

The trading phase under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), signed by 54 of the 55 countries in Africa, came into effect on 1...

SA sets eyes on Zimbabwe

5 months ago - 11 August 2020 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has condemned the state-sanctioned brutality and rights violations in neighbouring Zimbabwe, saying...

Comet Neowise visible just after sunset

5 months ago - 30 July 2020 | Africa

ELVIRA HATTINGH WINDHOEKComet Neowise (C/2020 F3) is now visible in the southern hemisphere just after sunset.The Astronomy Society of Southern Africa said it has received...

Namibia stagnates on several SDGs

5 months ago - 29 July 2020 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Namibia has been ranked 119th among 166 countries in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This...

Africa should become the conservation continent

6 months ago - 27 July 2020 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Protecting 30% of the earth's surface by 2030 could result in greater economic opportunities for emerging economies...

Response plan to improve health access, protect economies

8 months ago - 06 May 2020 | Africa

The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) has launched a COVID-19 Response Plan of Action to assist African countries to improve access to sustainable and resilient...

Namibian companies consider AfCFTA boon

1 year - 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

1 year - 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...

Latest News

Nam has exhausted 75% of...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUAccording to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report, Namibia’s ranking has deteriorated significantly in the last decade, falling from 66th place in 2010...

New year, same old auction...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Fishing

MATHIAS HAUFIKUWINDHOEKTroubled state-owned fishing company Fishcor hoped to have secured N$33 million in an auction of fishing quotas whose bids closed on Friday, in part...

Govt backs Recon’s Kavango oil...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Energy

KENYA KAMBOWEKAWEDespite a number of objections against the planned oil and gas exploration at Kawe village in the Kavango East Region, the government has given...

I owe GIPF nothing –...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKBusinessman Ranga Haikali on Friday said he owes no money to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) from the fund’s ill-fated Development Capital Portfolio...

New Shell service station opened...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe new Oshakati Shell opened its doors over the festive season to an expecting public. With refuelling and eating options, the new Shell facility’s...

SA’s Mr Price posted a...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

South Africa's Mr Price on Friday posted a 5.8% rise in third-quarter retail sales, supported by Covid-19 relief packages and demand for household items as...

MTC records 2.66 percent increase...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) on Thursday announced a 2.66 percent increase in revenue from N$ 2.613 billion recorded in 2019 to N$ 2.683 billion in...

SA’s Mr Price posted a...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

South Africa's Mr Price on Friday posted a 5.8% rise in third-quarter retail sales, supported by Covid-19 relief packages and demand for household items as...

Heavy rain, flooding expected this...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Weather

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe weather bureau has warns that heavy rain with localised flooding is likely in the Omaheke Region tomorrow.This will spread to the central-northern areas,...

Load More