Mugabe’s burial expected next Sunday as tensions emerge

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Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe is expected to be buried next weekend after his body is returned from Singapore where he died two days ago.

Mugabe, a guerrilla leader who swept to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and went on to rule for 37 years until he was ousted in 2017, died on Friday, aged 95.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba told AFP by text message that his body should arrive in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, with an official funeral on Saturday and the burial the following day.

But the location of the burial was unclear, with Mugabe’s family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government apparently at odds over whether it would be at his homestead northwest of Harare or at a shrine for liberation heroes in the capital.

Mugabe’s nephew said earlier on Sunday that a delegation was expected to leave Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the hero-turned-despot’s body from Singapore.

His health deteriorated after he was toppled by the military in November 2017, ending his increasingly tyrannical rule. He had been travelling to Singapore for treatment since April.