Robert Mugabe

The family of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe has said that he will be buried early next week in his village and not at a national monument for liberation heroes. Mugabe, whose autocratic rule ended in a military coup in 2017, died last week in Singapore aged 95. His body was flown back from Singapore on Wednesday. His leadership and economic mismanagement resulted in millions to escaping a country crippled by hyper-inflation and shortages of food, drugs and fuel.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the national monument. The family however said traditional chiefs in his homestead in the Zvimba region should decide where he should be buried. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in 2017, in what many believed was an attempt to position his wife Grace to succeed him. Mugabe was ousted by protesters and the military soon after.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, former Cuban 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.