Uncertainty in Zimbabwe on Mugabe's burial eclipses mourning

Uncertainty in Zimbabwe on Mugabe's burial eclipses mourning

"I call upon you Commander In Chief (Malema) to help the family have the wishes of President Mugabe be recognised, it demands of us that President Mugabe is able to rest in peace, that President Mugabe rests in power", said Zhuwawo.

Mnangagwa said he has asked for "a one-on-one" meeting with Grace "to discuss some issues".

On Thursday his casket was taken to Rufaro football stadium in Harare, where thousands packed the stands to see him lie in state.

"He should just go to the Heroes Acre just like he used to force other heroes to go there, even if their families didn't want Mugabe would make them go there so that's the order that we know".

Mnangagwa, flanked by security and half a dozen soldiers carrying rifles, visited Mugabe's palatial home in the capital, known as Blue Roof, on Thursday to pay his respects.

Speaking at the Mugabe house, Mnangagwa said his government would respect the family's wishes over the burial, saying they have "the full support of the government".

The Mugabe family has also told the Zimbabwean Government to respect the former president's wishes on how he wished to have his mortal remains interred.

Leo Mugabe did confirm, though, that advanced talks have been held with the Zimbabwean government on the procession and both parties are on the same page.

The dispute over the burial has sparked speculation of a bitter disagreement between the government and Mugabe's wife and other family members.

"The obvious situation we are having here is there's only one Robert Mugabe", he told reporters. They are reportedly unhappy about his treatment of the former leader. If the family decides to do a private burial, I can't oppose that, but how are we, as children of Zimbabwe, supposed to mourn our father?

The 35,000-seat Rufaro stadium, where the public will be allowed to see the body, is where Mugabe took his oath of office when colonial Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith handed over the reins of the country. Mugabe gave many speeches at the site and his first wife, Sally, is buried there next to a gravesite long reserved for the ex-leader.

His body arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday and worldwide dignitaries will bid farewell to the former Zimbabwe leader at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.

Zimbabweans have been split over the death of a leader once hailed for ending white minority rule in the former British colony of Rhodesia, but who later purged his foes in a brutal crackdown.

Later his seizure of white-owned farms helped ravage the economy, sent foreign investors fleeing and turned Mugabe into an worldwide pariah - even if his liberation hero status still resonates in Africa.

But many Zimbabweans will remember his tyrannical leadership and economic mismanagement that forced millions to escape a country crippled by hyper-inflation and shortages of food, drugs and fuel.

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