In a letter forwarded to foreign embassies to brief them on the itinerary of Mugabe’s burial, the Zimbabwean foreign ministry stated all foreign dignitaries are expected to depart the country immediately after the ‘State Funeral Service’,
A state funeral service for the late former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe will be held at a sports stadium in Harare on September 14 and burial will be a day later, but there is still no decision on where he will be interred, MaraviPost noted.
According to the letter from the foreign ministry, “Heads of State/government wishing to attend the ceremony are advised to arrive in Harare on Friday, September 13, 2019… and depart immediately after the ceremony taking into consideration that government authorities will be fully occupied with preparations for the burial service/ceremony reserved for Sunday, September 15, 2019.”
However, the said burial which is slated for September 15 (Sunday) has been postponed indefinitely according to a family source who spoke with ZimLive.
In the report, the reason for the postponement was not immediately clear. But the source said: “There are three issues at present which are still bubbling under, and it could be any one of them. First is where the former president is going to be buried, there’s still no agreement on that.
“Second, September 15 is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s birthday and there’s growing opinion that for all manner of reasons, including of the superstitious kind, burial should not happen on that day.
“The third and final issue is that there is a push from Zanu PF supporters in the provinces who say owing to travel costs it is better for Mugabe’s body to be taken to all 10 provinces before burial. This is gaining traction and could be the reason why the burial has been pushed back to a date as yet unknown.”
Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital aged 95 last Friday. 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”.
Mugabe’s family is at loggerheads with the Zimbabwean government over where he should be buried.
Zimbabwe president, Emmerson Mnangangwa, who seized power from Mugabe in a military coup in November 2017, wants to bury his predecessor next at the National Heroes Acre, a hilltop shrine in Harare.
But Mugabe is believed to have told his family that he wanted to be buried quietly with his mother, denying the politicians and generals who toppled him in 2017 the chance to “pontificate” over his dead body.
Zimbabwe government protocol says that Mnangagwa does not attend national heroes’ burials held away from the Heroes Acre.