As Zimbabwe mourns the passing of its veteran leader, Mugabe family and the government are at odds over burial arrangements.
The family wants a private funeral at an undisclosed location and date for the late President Robert Mugabe, throwing Harare’s plans into disarray.
Dignitaries, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the opposition MDC leader, visited the family’s home in the capital on Thursday.
Mugabe died in Singapore last Friday, where he was receiving medical treatment. He was 95.
Following a meeting between the two, there is no sign of a way forward. So far, what has been agreed on, is that the public viewings at the Rufaro National Stadium will go ahead.
Whether Sunday will see Mugabe buried at Heros Acre or transported to his home village of Kutama for his burial, is still not clear.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday met with the former first lady Grace Mugabe to finalise the funeral arrangements for her late husband.
The meeting followed the Mugabe family’s releasing of a statement raising concerns about the government’s lack of consultation, saying none of the late former President Robert Mugabe’s wishes are being fulfilled.
Speaking to mourners who gathered, Mnangagwa hailed the late veteran President as a hero and icon of the country. He assured the family that nothing would be done without their consent. It is hoped that clarity on the next few days proceedings will emerge after their meeting.
Chamisa pays tribute to Mugabe
Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa has also paid tribute to late former President.
Chamisa says, “You are aware that Mr Mugabe had connection and relationships with us in the context of politics on the other side with many differences. But beyond differences that we had politically to serve our people we have to reflect on his contribution. So in line with our Ubuntu and what is expected of us from a leadership point of view, we have come to pay condolences to the Mugabe family and of course to all Zimbabweans and indeed the whole of Africa.”
11 Presidents and 5 former Presidents will attend the funeral. For the latest on the ground in Zimbabwe.
-Reporting by Chriselda Lewis and Abongile Dumako in Harare.