The Zimbabwean government plans a state funeral for longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in a sports stadium in Harare next Saturday, with a burial ceremony a day later, it said in a memo sent to embassies on Sunday.
President Mnangagwa has expressed surprise that some members of former President Robert Mugabe's family who are not in Zimbabwe are allegedly fearing persecution amidst worries of being barred from attending the funeral.
The minister said Cde Mugabe will be buried on Sunday. "The family has made a decision that Mudhara will be buried at Kutama - that is the position - but the government is still engaging the family to try to have him buried at (National) Heroes Acre", the relative in Singapore told Reuters.
"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 September 15".
"The President gave instructions to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Mr Misheck Sibanda to ensure the delegation comprising both the Mugabe and Marufu families, party officials and Government representatives left for Singapore yesterday to support the former First Lady and that a chartered plane be secured to take them to and from Singapore".
He was not available for comment after Reuters saw the government memo or after it spoke to the three other Mugabe relatives. The chiefs have not told us where he will be buried, so it is not clear yet. "I hope that the leadership will consider and perhaps rebury that fellow comrade who was working dearly for his country", said Matutu.
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".
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.
"Even now we have livestock we keep in the rural areas because of him, so it's painful to lose our father, our grandfather who helped us to learn and go to school", said Tongai Huni, a fruit vendor.
Leo Mugabe said although he was devastated at his uncle's death, he believed he was "rested" after the coup in November 2017 when his former trusted lieutenants turned against him. He was once revered and celebrated as an independence hero when he came into power in 1980.
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