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

 

‘Adolescent’ Namibian opposition can learn from Zambia

2 months ago - 17 August 2021 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKExperts have cautioned that the election outcome in Zambia is likely to spill over to Namibia, though not as...

SADC Ordinary Summit to be hosted in Malawi

2 months ago - 11 August 2021 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe 41st session of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government will...

SADC Ordinary Summit to be held in Malawi

2 months ago - 10 August 2021 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe 41st session of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ordinary...

Local trade, tourism burn over SA riots

3 months ago - 14 July 2021 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT and OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKThe already-struggling trade and tourism sectors in Namibia could...

SA riots escalate

3 months ago - 13 July 2021 | Africa

Daily Maverick In the face of a massive escalation of rioting, looting and property...

Promoting art, culture and heritage between Namibia and Cuba

7 months ago - 09 March 2021 | Africa

Fanuel Shinedima The Cuban diplomatic mission in Namibia, under the leadership of ambassador Sidenio Acosta Aday, has signed an agreement with the minister of education,...

SADC must take stock

8 months ago - 01 February 2021 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKNamibia and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states should take stock of gaps which include a lack...

AU passport to be rolled out this year

9 months 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

9 months 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?

9 months 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...

Latest News

Heimstädt steering road safety

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Business

Rivaldo KavangaHorst Heimstädt is the CEO of the Namibia Road Safety Forum, a private organisation which does extensive work in the Southern African Development Community...

FNB to strengthen its support...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUProparco, a private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group), granted a EURIZ portfolio guarantee of N$ 68 million to...

Learners don maize sacks for...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Education

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI Learners at Omuthiyagwiipundi Combined School in Omuthiya are forced to wear maize sacks each time they misbehave at...

Itula changed, says suspended Smith-Howard

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Politics

Staff Reporter WINDHOEKSuspended Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) Swakopmund constituency councillor Ciske Smith-Howard says her party leader, Dr Panduleni Itula, has become...

The face of the southern...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | People

Michelline Nawatises Victoria Ndemupa Muhuura was born in Wavis Bay. She attended at Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Secondary School in the Oshana Region, and...

Zozo’s Leather: Your dream product

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | People

Rivaldo Kavanga Celesty Cupido worked in the tourism industry and realised over the years that many Namibian accommodation establishments do not showcase or sell...

Rising like a phoenix

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Business

Mariselle StofbergWilhelmine Mutorwa has used every opportunity she is given to become the best version of herself. For Wilhelmine Mutorwa, giving up has never been...

Africa calls for climate finance...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Economics

ALESSANDRA PRENTICEAfrican countries want a new system to track funding from wealthy nations that are failing to meet a US$100-billion annual target to help the...

EDITORIAL: We are guilty of...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Opinion

A lot needs to be discussed in our country – from race and sexual rights to abortion. The country can’t stop talking, even when such...

Load More