Mugabe’s burial site to take “30 days” to complete

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HARARE, Zimbabwe

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s burial will take “about 30 days” at a monument for national heroes in the capital, Harare, a family spokesman said.

The decision to entomb Mugabe at the state burial site is the latest turn in the tussle between his family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s once-trusted deputy who helped remove him from power in late 2017.

On Thursday, the family had said that the former Zimbabwe president, whose body was flown back from Singapore on Wednesday, would be buried in his hometown in a private ceremony.

However, on Friday, family spokesman Leo Mugabe who also is Mugabe’s nephew said it had been decided the deceased would be buried at Heroes Acre after consultations with influential traditional chiefs.

Henceforth, “the government and the chiefs went to the Heroes Acre, showed each other where President Mugabe is going to be buried, and that place would take about 30 days to complete,” Leo told reporters at the family’s Blue Roof house.

“So, what that means is the burial will take that long,” he added.

Leo said that an official ceremony would be followed by a private family event at the monument to heroes of the liberation war against white minority rule.

The former president has been lying in state in Harare since Thursday after the government announced three days of national mourning. His body was on view at Rufaro Stadium for a second day on Friday.

A stampede on Thursday injured several people trying to view it.

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