Updated: February 26, 2021
Zimbabwean officials and relatives are currently thousands of feet above sea level on their way to Singapore to bring home the remains of former President Robert Mugabe but a fight is already brewing over where the African hero for some or deadly dictator for others would be buried.
Local media quotesld a family spokesman as saying on Monday that it was still unclear where Mugabe who died at the age 95 would be buried.
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Reports said Mugabe’s family is pushing back against the government’s plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare and wants him to be interred in his home village.
Reuters news agency quoted Leo Mugabe, the late president’s nephew and family spokesman, sa saying that a charter plane left Harare for Singapore just after 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Monday, adding that Mugabe’s body was expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on Wednesday at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), Leo Mugabe told Reuters.
“Mugabe was a chief and he will be buried in accordance with tradition. The chiefs have not told us where he will be buried, so it is not clear yet. I also don’t know,” he said.
In some parts of Zimbabwe, burials of chiefs are a secret affair and people are only told the resting place afterwards.
Reuters argued that “if Mugabe is buried in Kutama village, 85 km (50 miles) from Harare, it would be a major rebuke for his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the ruling ZANU-PF party that Mugabe helped to found”.