The Zimbabwean government on Thursday confirmed that the body of former President Robert Mugabe will be buried in his home village in in the Zvimba district west of Harare as requested by his family.
Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on September 6 at the age of 95 and a funeral was held in the capital Harare. He served as the president of Zimbabwe for 37 years before he was overthrown by the military in 2017 and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Previously, the government had resisted the Mugabe family’s wish for him to be buried in his home region of Zvimba, and announced that he will be buried in Heroes Acre – a national monument and burial ground.
Initially, Mugabe’s family publicly complained that the government had not consulted them before making announcement about the state funeral. But, later on, the family had appeared content with the burial at Heroes Acre, after it was agreed that a mausoleum would be built for the former leader.
On Thursday, the government said the late president’s family has decided it wants Mugabe buried in his home village. Information Minister Nick Mangwana said the government will respect the family’s wishes.
“In line with the government policy to respect the wishes of families of deceased heroes, government is cooperating with the Mugabe family in their new position,” the information ministry said in a statement.
It currently remains clear why the government decided to make the late change in plans.
Mangwana told Reuters News Agency that his understanding was that the burial would take place on Saturday during a private ceremony.
The family is yet to comment on the matter, but a close family friend and some local media said the burial would take place on Saturday.