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Heroes Acre burial for Mugabe

13 September 2019

Leader of the main opposition party, MDC, Nelson Chamisa has been granted a Very-Important-Persons (VIP) ticket at the memorial service for the late former President Robert Mugabe to be held at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow. Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was ousted by the army in November 2017, died in a Singapore hospital a week ago aged 95.

Mugabe fired Mnangagwa as first vice president in 2017, a move many perceived as an attempt to position his wife Grace to succeed him after almost four decades of iron-fist rule.

But in his twilight years, he became vulnerable and helpless, according to relatives, allies and analysts.

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His family and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa had been at odds over where he would be buried after his body returned home on Wednesday.

When darkness approached, a helicopter arrived to carry Mugabe's body back to his home.

Yesterday the family insisted he would be buried next week in his village, delivering an apparent snub to government plans to bury him at a national monument.

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Mugabe said traditional chiefs wanted particular things done at Heroes Acre, and the family had also given its input. It was merely meant to go and thank the Government for what they have done; to look after him during this trying period when he was sick, for paying all the bills and also for recognising him as the icon of the country. "That must be shown forever and ever at the National Heroes Ace so that anybody who visits must be able to say yes, this is where Robert Mugabe is buried", Mugabe added.

He said the traditional chiefs in Mugabe's homestead had made that decision. "Listening to Leo Mugabe saying certain works will take time, you do get a sense that there's a completely new section of the Heroes Acre that is being created for Mugabe which was not on the initial plan... whole new engineering works", said journalist Xolisani Ncube. Mugabe was overthrown by the military following massive protests.

As a result Grace and the family have been clinging onto Mugabe's body since its arrival on Wednesday.

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Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Democratic Republic of Congo's Félix Tshisekedi, Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Angola's João Lourenço, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are expected tomorrow.

Heroes Acre burial for Mugabe