Mugabe To Be Buried Saturday At Rural Home, Says Family

The casket containing the body of Zimbabwe’s late former president, Robert Mugabe is hoisted by soldiers in ceremonial uniform after it arrived on September 12, 2019 at the historic Rufaro stadium in the capital, Harare.

 

 

Zimbabwe’s ex-president Robert Mugabe will be buried Saturday afternoon, his nephew said Friday, after the remains were moved from his Harare house to his rural village ahead of the event.

The country’s founding leader died in a Singapore hospital earlier this month, aged 95, almost two years after a military coup ended his nearly four-decade rule.

After weeks of wrangling between government and his family over the final resting place, the Mugabes have opted to entomb him at his birth place and rural home, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) west of the capital.

“As per our Zimbabwean tradition, the elderly are always buried in the afternoon, so it will be after 2pm (1200GMT),” Leo Mugabe told AFP.

The body was moved by road on Thursday evening with a police and military vehicle escort, according to a video clip shared on Twitter.

It was the second time it made its way back to Kutama village in Zvimba district where Mugabe was born 95 years ago.

When the body was first taken home last week for the public to pay their last respects, it was airlifted by a military helicopter.

“The body arrived (at the village) around 1900 hours, yesterday,” nephew and family spokesman Leo Mugabe told AFP on Friday.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told the state-owned The Herald daily on Thursday that “the body of the late Mugabe left Harare for Zvimba, awaiting burial set for Saturday”.

Mausoleum snub

The decision to bury Mugabe in the village has been seen as an apparent snub of the government offer to bury him at a specially-built mausoleum at a national heroes shrine in Harare where dozens of other prominent independence war veterans are interred.

The family had previously agreed to have his body entombed at the shrine where preparations for the special mausoleum were already in progress.

Minister Ziyambi said the family had earlier consented that they were “happy with burial at Heroes Acre”, but suddenly on Thursday “they indicated that they want to go to Zvimba and (the) government agreed”.

The family gave no reason for the change of plans.

The former guerilla leader, who came to power at the end of white minority rule in 1980 and ruled Zimbabwe uninterrupted for 37 years and seven months, died of prostate cancer, according to his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He was toppled on November 2017 in a military-backed coup, ending an increasingly iron-fisted rule marked by political oppression and economic ruin.

Mugabe’s health deteriorated rapidly after the ousting and he made regular medical trips to Singapore, where he died on September 6.

Mugabe To Be Buried This Weekend – Family

Pallbearers carry the coffin of late former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe for a mass at the family homestead in Kutama village, 80km northwest of Harare, on September 17, 2019.

 

The remains of Zimbabwe’s ex-president Robert Mugabe who died early this month, have been moved from his Harare house to his rural village ahead of burial expected this weekend, his family said on Friday.

After weeks of wrangling between the government and his family over the final resting place for the country’s founding leader, the Mugabes have opted to entomb him at his birthplace and rural home, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) west of the capital Harare.

The body was moved by road on Thursday evening under police and military vehicles escort, according to a video clip shared on Twitter.

It was the second time it made its way back to Kutama village in Zvimba district where Mugabe was born 95 years ago.

When the body was first taken home last week for the public to pay their last respects, it was airlifted by a military helicopter.

“The body arrived (at the village) around 1900 hours, yesterday,” family spokesman and Mugabe’s nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP on Friday.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, told the state-owned The Herald daily on Thursday that “the body of the late Mugabe left Harare for Zvimba, awaiting burial set for Saturday”.

The decision to bury Mugabe in the village is seen as an apparent snub of the government offer to bury him at what was to be a specially-built mausoleum at a national heroes shrine in Harare where dozens of other prominent independence war veterans are interred.

The family had previously agreed to have his body entombed at the shrine where preparations for a special mausoleum were already in progress.

Minister Ziyambi said the family had earlier consented that they were “happy with burial at Heroes Acre”, but suddenly on Thursday “they indicated that they want to go to Zvimba and (the) government agreed”.

The family gave no reason for the change of plans.

The former guerilla leader, who came to power at the end of white minority rule in 1980 and ruled Zimbabwe uninterrupted for 37 years and seven months, died of prostate cancer, according to his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He was toppled on November 2017 in a military-backed coup, ending an increasingly iron-fisted rule marked by political oppression and economic ruin.

Mugabe’s health deteriorated rapidly after the ousting and he made regular medical trips to Singapore, where he died on September 6.

AFP

Mugabe’s Family Agree To Burial In ‘Heroes’ Monument

The casket containing the body of Zimbabwe’s late former president, Robert Mugabe is hoisted by soldiers in ceremonial uniform after it arrived on September 12, 2019 at the historic Rufaro stadium in the capital, Harare, where his body will lie in state for members of the public file past.

 

The family of former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe have agreed to bury him at a monument for national heroes in Harare, a family spokesman said on Friday though the date for the ceremony was still unclear.

Mugabe died in Singapore last week aged 95, leaving Zimbabweans torn over the legacy of a leader once lauded as an anti-colonial guerrilla hero, but whose 37-year iron-fisted rule ended in a coup in 2017.

His family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe ally who turned against him, had been at odds over where he would be buried after his body returned home on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Relatives Fly To Singapore To Bring Mugabe’s Body Home

“Yes I can confirm,” Leo Mugabe told reporters when asked whether the family had agreed to a burial in National Heroes Acre in Harare.

He said the traditional chiefs in Mugabe’s homestead had made that decision.

“They have now pronounced their position so if they have pronounced that the burial will be at the Heroes Acre that means that we now have to wait for the details… whether it will be a private burial or a public one.”

Tensions erupted after Mnangagwa’s government proposed a burial at the National Heroes Acre in Harare while the family said he would be buried at a private ceremony, possibly in his homestead of Kutama, northwest of the capital.

The former leader had been travelling to Singapore regularly for medical treatment but allies say his health deteriorated rapidly after his ouster. Mugabe’s body arrived from Singapore on Wednesday at Harare airport.

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

Mugabe’s Body May Return Next Week As Burial Tensions Emerge

 

Robert Mugabe’s nephew said Sunday that a delegation was expected to leave Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the hero-turned-despot’s body from Singapore where he died two days ago.

Mugabe, a guerilla leader who swept to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and went on to rule for 37 years, died on Friday, aged 95.

His health took a hit after he was ousted by the military in November 2017, ending his increasingly tyrannical rule. He had been travelling to Singapore for treatment since April.

“I can’t give an authoritative day, all I know is people are leaving tomorrow Monday to go and pick up the body,” Leo Mugabe told AFP.

“So assuming they get there on Tuesday and the body is ready, logically you would think they should land here on Wednesday,” he said, adding that a list of accompanying family members was being finalised.

READ ALSO: Mugabe: Zimbabweans Defy National Mourning, Continue With Normal Businesses

Once praised as a liberator who rid Zimbabwe of white minority rule, Mugabe soon turned to repression and fear to govern.

He is widely remembered for crushing political dissent and ruining the economy, prompting mixed reactions to his passing.

At Sacred Heart Cathedral, Mugabe’s parish in the capital Harare, the priest encouraged congregants to pray for their founding leader.

“I know some of us may have different feelings about it, but it’s our duty to pray for one another,” Father Justin Jagaja told AFP.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a period of “national mourning” on Friday, without providing further detail.

The government is expected to announce when Mugabe’s body will be returned to Zimbabwe and provide details of the funeral in coming days.

– Burial tensions –
Mugabe’s family and Mnangagwa appear to disagree on whether the former president will be buried in his rural homestead Zvimba in a ceremony involving local chiefs, or at the National Heroes Acre — a hilltop shrine in Harare commemorating guerillas killed during the liberation struggle.

Leo Mugabe refused to comment on the feud. “All I know is (that) we are closer to an agreement if the chiefs meet up with the president and discuss the issues,” said the nephew.

He explained that his uncle would have been appointed chief of Zvimba had he not become president.

Zimbabwe’s deputy information minister Energy Mutody said the body would rest in Harare.

“His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa has declared former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe a National Hero,” Mutody tweeted on Saturday.

“The former President will be buried at the national heroes acre at a date to be announced.”

The 57-acre site, presided over by three bronze guerilla soldiers, was later opened up to national heroes in the arts and academia.

The family of Zimbabwean Afro-jazz icon and human rights activist Oliver Mtukudzi also refused to bury him at the shrine.

Mtukudzi, who succumbed to diabetes in January, was declared national hero for his social and political influence.

Zimbabwe Ex-President Robert Mugabe Dies Aged 95

 

 

Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe with an iron fist from 1980 to 2017, has died aged 95, the country’s president announced Friday.

First heralded as a liberator who rid the former British colony of Rhodesia of white minority rule, Mugabe used repression and fear to hold on to power in Zimbabwe until he was finally ousted by his previously loyal military generals.

“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President… Robert Mugabe,” Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a tweet.

“Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten.”

READ ALSO: Xenophobia: 10 Killed In South Africa – Ramaphosa

Mugabe had been battling ill health, and his humiliating fall from office in November 2017, his stamina seeped away rapidly. He was hospitalised in Singapore for months for an undisclosed ailment, Mnangagwa had confirmed earlier this year.

No further details were immediately available about the circumstances of his death, or where he died.

The Mugabe years are widely remembered for his crushing of political dissent, and policies that ruined the economy.

The former political prisoner turned guerrilla leader swept to power in the 1980 elections after a growing insurgency and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.

In office, he initially won international plaudits for his declared policy of racial reconciliation and for extending improved education and health services to the black majority.

But that faded as rapidly as he cracked down on opponents, including a campaign known as Gukurahundi that killed an estimated 20,000 dissidents.

The violent seizure of white-owned farms turned Mugabe into an international pariah — though his status as a liberation hero still resonates strongly in most of Africa.

Aimed largely at placating angry war veterans who threatened to destabilise his rule, the land reform policy wrecked the crucial agricultural sector, caused foreign investors to flee and helped plunge the country into economic misery.

All along, the Mugabe regime was widely accused of human rights violations and of rigging elections.

The topic of his succession was virtually taboo during Mugabe’s decades-long rule, and a vicious struggle to take over after his death became clear among the ruling elite as he reached his 90s and became visibly frail.

Two Shot Dead By Zimbabwe Police In Minibus Clash

A crowd gathers around a burnt out shell of a car torched outside Harare Central Police Station on February 23, 2018, in Harare following a mob angered by the fatal shooting of a male civilian pedestrian during clashes between commuters and police blocking commuter buses from entering the central business district of Harare. PHOTO: Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

Zimbabwean police on Friday said they had shot two people dead and injured four others during a confrontation in the capital Harare over a ban on commuter minibuses in the city centre.

City authorities on Thursday banned minibuses from using pick-up points in central Harare in a move to tackle traffic congestion, angering both drivers and passengers.

The ban was reversed within hours by the government, but police had already been deployed to implement it.

“I wish to announce the death of two people in a very unfortunate and regrettable incident on 22 February,” police commissioner general Godwin Matanga told journalists.

“As the (unbanning) directive was given, the police and other security agencies were still in the middle of the operation enforcing the ban and unaware of the cancellation,” Matanga said.

“Police officers fired shots that unfortunately killed two people and injured four others.”

He said three police officers were seriously injured and three police cars were badly damaged in violent clashes that followed the shooting.

AFP

Zimbabweans Hold Anti-Mugabe Protests In Harare And Jo’Burg

Robert-Mugabe-AU-SummitZimbabweans have taken their social media protests beyond the internet as many anti-Mugabe protesters have stormed the streets of Harare to demonstrate against President Mugabe’s rule.

A similar protest has also taken place in Johannesburg South Africa in support of their compatriots in Zimbabwe.

Over three million Zimbabweans live and work in South Africa which shares a border with the Southern African country.

The protest march was taken to the Zimbabwean Consulate where no official came out to receive them.

Network Africa: Terrorism, Murder, Animals On Diet, Questions Seeking Answers

Abuja bomb survivorThis edition of Network Africa starts with a question begging for an answer; is the security situation in Nigeria getting worse?

At about 6:45 on Monday morning, a bomb went off in Nyanya Park in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, leaving 75 people dead and 216 others injured.  We take a look at how that terrible ordeal took place and also hear the accounts of some of the survivors.

Just as the nation struggled to recover from that dastardly ordeal, 200 final year students of an all-girl government school in Chibok, Borno State were abducted by gunmen who stormed the school in the dead of the night, ordering all the girls out of their hostels into four lorries.

The incident was one of such great concern that it was a major issue for discussion by delegates at the ongoing National Conference.

Thankfully Nigeria is not alone in the fight against terrorism, as the US Ambassador to Nigeria; James Entwistle, has reassured Nigeria of the United States’ wish to assist the nation in the fight.

Meanwhile, there is another question emanating from South Africa; is Oscar Pistorius using his emotions as a cover up? Chief Prosecutor, Gerrie Nel has consistently accused the athlete standing trial for the murder of his girlfriend of doing so with his continuous crying and vomiting in the court room.

On Wednesday April 16, Forensics Expert, Roger Dixon, continued to testify at Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

He took the stand after the Paralympian concluded seven days of testimony with him reading a Valentine’s card from his girlfriend.

Just like he did from the start, the athlete denied intentionally killing Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

Economic Implication Of Ebola Outbreak

Network Africa, in its last edition, featured the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Ghana with over a hundred lives lost, most of them in Guinea.

In our report on this edition, there is some ray of light as the number of deaths caused by Ebola has slowed dramatically in Guinea and the outbreak is nearly under control.

According to the country’s health ministry, the latest toll is 106, down from the 159 confirmed and suspected cases of the virus since the outbreak began in February.

The new cases being monitored were people who had been in contact with those who had fallen ill but were not themselves unwell.

Unfortunately apart from the loss of life, there is another consequence of the Ebola virus and it’s the economy.

Since When Did Crocodiles Go Green?

On the lighter side of life, crocodiles are eating healthy now.

Did you ever imagine a time when you would find crocodiles eating vegetables and supposedly enjoying it?

Well that has happened about 400 kilometers northwest of Harare, Nyanyana crocodile farm, which is home to about 50,000 Nile crocodiles.

They are being fed healthy for a reason and that you would need to find out in the report, but be sure the reptiles are going green for a valuable reason.