President Emmerson Mnangagwa has confirmed that the final burial for Zimbabwe’s former president, Robert Mugabe, will be held at the National Heroes Acre sometime in October 2019.
It was previously agreed that there would be a symbolic burial on Sunday in the hilltop shrine in Harare, reserved for the country’s ruling elite, but family spokesman, Leo Mugabe, told reporters this plan had now been cancelled.
The body will now go to Mugabe’s hometown of Zvimba on Sunday for traditional funeral rituals to be carried out before the burial. Mugabe will be buried in October after a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre has been completed, President Mnangagwa said.
The confirmation comes after disagreements between the family and the government about where the former leader should be buried. The family initially said they would prefer to honour Mugabe’s wishes and have him buried next to his mother in his rural home in Kutama, about 85 kilometres from Harare. They then agreed to the symbolic funeral on Sunday in the hope that the real burial would take place at a later date, giving them time to carry out the traditional rituals
Mugabe’s body was returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday from Singapore, where he died at the age of 95. He had been seeking treatment there for an undisclosed illness since April.