Family members leave Zimbabwe to bring Mugabe’s body home from Singapore
A plane carrying a delegation of government officials and Robert Mugabe’s has left Zimbabwe for Singapore Monday to retrieve the body of the ex-president for his burial, a family spokesman said.
Leo Mugabe told CNN the delegation is expected back in Zimbabwe by Wednesday.
Former Zimbabwe President Mugabe died on Friday after spending months in a Singapore hospital.
A state funeral will be held in Mugabe’s honor on Saturday at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, according to a government statement sent to diplomatic missions.
The statement did not mention details of where Mugabe would be buried, fueling speculation about his final resting place.
The ex-president’s ruling party, Zanu-PF’s spokesman, Simon Khaya Moyo told CNN that Mugabe should be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre Monument in Harare unless his family opposes the decision.
“He has been declared a national hero and you know what that means. But you should also take into account the family’s wishes. So we are yet to be advised,” Moyo said.
Mugabe’s nephew and family spokesman Leo Mugabe said the decision has been left to elders and traditional chiefs in Mugabe’s village of Kutama located about 100 kilometers northwest of Harare.
“That decision is made by the chiefs. We tried to press them for a definite answer, but they said we should not rush them. They are doing what is required by the tradition, you know what happens when a King dies,” the younger Mugabe told CNN.
Mugabe leaves behind a mixed legacy in the country. He was once revered and celebrated as an independence hero when he came into power in 1980.
However, he clung to power for 37 years in an autocratic reign marked by bursts of violence against his people and lavish spending amid a backdrop of a tough economic climate in the country.
He was eventually forced to step down in 2017 by the military.