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

 

Small burial for Mugabe

1 month - 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

1 month - 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

2 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?

2 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

2 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

2 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

2 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

3 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...

3 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...

Five doctors killed in Libya air raid

3 months ago - 29 July 2019 | Africa

Five doctors were killed in an air strike by forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar on a field hospital near the capital, the health ministry...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More