Security has been tightened as the family of Zimbabwe’s late national hero, Robert Mugabe, prepared for his burial in Zvimba on Saturday.
Mugabe’s body was set to be laid to rest at Kutama Village, where he grew up after his family rejected the government’s offer to build a special grave at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
The majority of the mourners were barred from entering the courtyard as Mugabe’s body awaited a private burial with only approved guests and funeral parlour vans allowed.
In a statement, ZANU PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, called the private burial “most unfortunate”. He added:
… we indeed respect the wishes of families of deceased heroes, hence we are saddened when manoeuvres that border on political gimmicks begin to unfold on an issue concerning an illustrious liberation icon.
Mugabe died on 6 September 2019 in Singapore at the age of 95. He had been out of office for close to two years after his former comrades ousted him in a coup, having ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years.
He was bitter until his last breath and reportedly vowed in his last days that his erstwhile allies should not pontificate over his dead body.