Robert Mugabe's body arrives in Zimbabwe

Mugabe body

The body of Robert Mugabe has left Singapore on a private flight destined for his home country of Zimbabwe.

His body is expected in the country tomorrow, the day the late Major-General Trust Mugoba will be laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre. That boisterous greeting rocked Rhodesia and was a dramatic signal that its days of white minority rule were numbered.

By contrast, no supporters were seen lining the streets of Zimbabwe's capital on Wednesday to mark the passing of the country's founding leader.

Harare otherwise remained bustling, with vehicles lined up for scarce fuel, vendors selling vegetables and currency dealers selling cash.

Mugabe died last week in Singapore having been hospitalised in April. Further mismanagement brought about hyperinflation reaching more than a billion per cent in 2009, which was only halted when the country abandoned its currency for the USA dollar.

While a burial is expected to be held on Sunday, the site where Mugabe will be buried is still unknown.

Crowds had gathered at the airport well before the scheduled arrival time, with some wearing T-shirts bearing Mr. Mugabe's face and others with Mr. Mnangagwa's image, while music blared from loudspeakers. Grace Mugabe had bitterly denounced Mnangagwa before her husband's downfall, yet there was no show of antagonism during the short ceremony. A spokesman for the Mugabe family could not immediately be reached for comment.

Family members of the deceased ex-president confirmed the development to Zimlive.

Mnangagwa did not come to the Mugabe residence.

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Mugabe's body will lie in state in Harare and at his home village in Zwimba before a funeral ceremony attended by global dignitaries at the capital's main sports stadium planned for Saturday. They share Mr. Mugabe's bitterness at the way former allies, including Mr. Mnangagwa, conspired to topple him and want him buried in his home village.

He said, "Mugabe was a chief and he will be buried in accordance with tradition".

"If it has been decided by the chiefs, they have not told me", the ex-president's nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Also present were Mr. Mugabe's daughter Bona and son Bellarmine and Savior Kasukuwere, a former Mugabe cabinet minister and staunch ally who has been living in self-imposed exile in South Africa since early this year. But we should weigh the good deeds he takes to his grave versus the few undesirable things that are attributed to him.

Based on that ignominious record this newspaper had recommend that the Jamaican Government revoke that award, as we held the view that anyone whose credibility and integrity were so damaged should not have the privilege to hold the title "The Right Honourable".

The grateful comments appeared to indicate a reconciliation between the family and Mnangagwa.

Asked whether Mugabe had been bitter about being ousted, he said: "Everybody is human".

His burial at Heroe's Acre is still being contested. Mugabe's first wife, Sally, is buried there next to a gravesite long reserved for the ex-leader.

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