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Zimbabwe's Mugabe to Lie in State at Two Different Stadiums

11 September 2019

Meanwhile, Former President Robert Mugabe's remains are due to be returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday and the government has confirmed that his funeral will take place over two days this coming weekend.

Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on Friday, aged 95.

President Edgar Lungu has urged African leaders to emulate former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who was fearless in protecting the integrity of his country.

A top government official has brushed aside speculation that there was a dispute between the government and the Mugabes over where the former president should be buried on Sunday.

The Catholic priest says Mr Mugabe was the spirit of the more 70,000 people who died during the liberation war for Zimbabwe.

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If Mr Mugabe is buried in Kutama village, 85km from Harare, it would be a major rebuke to his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the ruling Zanu-PF party which Mr Mugabe helped to found.

"Heads of State/Government are expected to depart immediately after the ceremony taking into consideration that Government authorities will be fully occupied with preparations for the burial service/ceremony reserved for Sunday15 September 2019", it said.

Reports indicate that he left instructions that he wished to be buried in Kutama, his rural village, and not at the National Heroes Acre in Harare where Zimbabwe buries its "national heroes".

The plane carried Vice President Kembo Mohadi and Mugabe's relatives.

His nephew, Leo Mugabe, has however denied claims that there were differences between family and government.

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"When he was 93, 94, he was able to walk, but the speed with which he deteriorated after the coup is just incredible, and I can imagine what was going through him and it's why I'm saying he has rested", he said.

In death, Mugabe received praise from his former political and military allies, who propped up his rule for close to four decades before forcing him out in 2017.

"If a chief dies, the announcement is not like how we announce any other person who is dead".

But his ousting in 2017 was accompanied by celebrations across the country of 13 million and critics at home and overseas viewed him as a power-obsessed autocrat who unleashed death squads, rigged elections and ruined the economy to keep control.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe to Lie in State at Two Different Stadiums