(Updated) Family agrees with govt, body to be buried at 'heroes' monument

Mugabe's family concede to burial in heroes monument

The late former President Cde Robert Mugabe will be buried at the national heroes acre on a date to be announced.

Mugabe, who ruled for 37 years until a coup in 2017, died in Singapore last week 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.

Mugabe is proving as polarising in death as he was in life, as the fight over where he will be buried threatens to undermine President Emmerson Mnangagwa, once his former deputy.

"I can confirm that he will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday", family spokesman Leo Mugabe said on Friday, adding 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 event is expected will be be graced by region and global guests who will make up the VVIP tent that include visiting Heads of State, former Heads of State, Heads of Delegation, Vice Presidents and their spouses, AU Representatives and SADC Representatives.

Soon after, Mugabe was toppled by protesters and the army in what was seen as part of a power struggle within the ruling Zanu-PF party between pro-Mnangagwa factions and Mugabe loyalists siding with Grace.

Mugabe has been lying in state since Thursday after the governent announced three-day of national mournng.

The body was closely guarded yesterday and Mugabe's youngest son Bellarmine Chatunga was apprehensive that his mother and sister travel alone in a military helicopter carrying the body from the Blue roof mansion to Rufaro Stadium in Harare after security officers tried to stop him.

"The family will have the final say".

Leo Mugabe, the late former president's nephew, said the burial ceremony would be private, without saying where it would be.

"The obvious situation we are having here is there's only one Robert Mugabe", he told reporters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban former leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe's state funeral on Saturday in Harare.

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