Zimbabwe intends Mugabe’s burial and funeral at September 14.
Harare: The Zimbabwean government intends a country for longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in a sports stadium in Harare following Saturday, having a burial service per day after, it said in memo sent to embassies on Sunday.
Zimbabweans have been confused about when they would get to pay their final respects to Mugabe because his departure in a Singapore hospital Friday after a lengthy illness.
Mugabe had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from independence in 1980 till he was eliminated by his own military in a November 2017 coup.
The memo given Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs into embassies in Harare and seen by Reuters said that the funeral would be from the National Sports Stadium but didn’t specify where the burial would be.
It said heads of state would be expected to depart the stadium right after the funeral service because officials are busy with preparations for its burial.
The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe didn`t want to be buried at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for the country’s personalities – because he felt bitter about the way he was removed from power.
In comments to this Sunday Mail paper Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba denied that the government and Mugabe’s household were at loggerheads over where the former president ought to be buried and said the provisional program was to allow its burial to be in National Heroes Acre.
Leo Mugabe, the former president’s nephew, told Reuters earlier on Sunday that Mugabe’s family and traditional chiefs had finalised their favorite programme for his burial however, it had yet to be approved by the authorities.
At the packed Sacred Heart Cathedral at Harare, at which Mugabe used to attend Catholic Mass along with his first wife Sally and second wife Grace, people prayed on Sunday morning to get their departed former leader.
“We’re praying for our relatives that have died. Without forgetting to pray for our former president, Comrade Robert Mugabe, we deliver him forward to God. We’re asking God if there’s anything he did wrong in his lifetime that he’s forgiven,” the priest told the congregation, speaking in the native Shona language.
Chris Samboa former football administrator who was able to organize games for Mugabe in his home village of Kutama, ” said the southern African country’s Catholic neighborhood had dropped one of its most important members.
Tsitsi Samukange, another churchgoer, said Mugabe was a man who fought for his country.
“I believe everyone can admit that without the job he did we wouldn’t be as separate as we are,” she explained.
“You know when you fight, at a fight occasionally you lose the teeth, (appropriate )? And then we became poorer. But that’s a fight and he did itand we should give him that.”
Lots of Harare residents said at the weekend they were saddened by Mugabe’s death and that it marked the ending of an age.