WORLD

Zimbabwe's ex-president to be buried at national shrine

Zimbabwe's late President Robert Mugabe is set to be buried at the National Heroes Acre cemetery after protracted backdoor bickering on the location of his prospective grave.

Leo Mugabe, family spokesperson and nephew to the late former Zimbabwean leader, told reporters in the capital Harare that the burial would take place in a private ceremony next week on a day yet to be announced.

"The family has confirmed that he [Robert Mubage] will be buried at the at a private ceremony. Chiefs from Zvimba, his home area, have agreed the private burial will take place at the heroes acre at a day to be announced," said nephew Mugabe.

He added that the standard proceedings following the burial of national heroes would be conducted before private burial rituals are observed at the national shrine.

Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters thronged Rufaro Stadium to view the body of the country's former leader who ruled the Southern African nation for 37 years before being ousted in a military coup two years ago.

Mugabe's former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom he had fired days before the coup, returned from a brief exile and became the country's next president.

Mnangagwa was a leading figure in a faction within the ruling Africa National Union Patriotic Front party (Zanu-PF) that vied to succeed Mugabe, competing against rivals led by Mugabe's wife, Grace Mugabe.

On Thursday, the former president's family had said the Mugabe would be buried in a private ceremony in Zvimba, his rural home in southwest of Harare.

Mugabe's body has remained in Harare since Thursday after the government announced three days of national mourning.

Despite the bitter fall out after the 2017 coup, Mnangagwa, called Mugabe a "national icon".

Meanwhile, other figures close to Mugabe said the burial would be a public, not private, ceremony.

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