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
Zimbabweans have been confused about when they would get to pay their
last respects to Mugabe since his death in a Singapore hospital on
Friday after a long illness.
Mugabe had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from
independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a
November 2017 coup.
Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white
minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for wrecking one of
Africa’s most promising economies and ruthlessly crushing his
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who worked closely with Mugabe for
decades before helping to oust him, granted Mugabe the status of a
national hero within hours of his death.
The memo sent by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to embassies
in Harare and seen by Reuters said the funeral would be in the
National Sports Stadium but did not specify where the burial would be.
It said heads of state would be expected to leave the stadium
immediately after the funeral ceremony because officials would be busy
with preparations for the burial.
The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe
didn’t want to be buried at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for
the country’s heroes – because he felt bitter about the way he was
removed from power, Reuters report.