… while widow, Grace, is told not to leave Mugabe’s casket unattended until he is buried
The family of the late former president, Robert Mugabe, says the government did not consult them on the burial arrangements of the veteran leader and are unhappy with attempts to hijack the programme.
In a hard hitting statement released by Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, the family expressed its dissatisfaction with the way government handled Mugabe’s funeral plans.
“We note with extreme concern the manner with which the Government of Zimbabwe has developed the programme for the funeral of the late Robert Mugabe without consulting his immediate family who were tasked with communicating his last wishes in regard to his funeral and burial,” said the family.
The family also said it was shocking how authorities were trying to coerce them to accept a funeral programme they did not agree with, one that went against Mugabe’s wishes.
“As his immediate family we have also observed with shock that the government is attempting to coerce us to accept a programme for the funeral and burial of the late Robert Mugabe, which is contrary to his wishes on how he wished to his mortal remains interred.”
Mugabe was accorded national hero status, but reports alleged that during his final days, he refused to be buried at the National Heroes Acre preferring to be buried next to his mother at his rural home in Zvimba.
This allegedly has caused further rift between the former first family and the current Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration, as it is indicated that Mugabe was bitter as he was betrayed by his comrades, who reportedly have been trying to make amends.
However, the family expressed its willingness to work with the government, only if they respected the wishes, of which one wish was that Mugabe’s widow, Grace, never leave his side or the casket where he lay.
“As the immediate family of the late we are ready and willing to work with the government of Zimbabwe to develop a programme for the funeral and burial of the late which is in conformance to his wishes remains will be interred.
“One of the wishes that the late Robert Mugabe indicated was that his wife Dr Mugabe must never leave the casket barning his remains for the duration of the funeral proceedings whilst in Zimbabwe until his mortal remains have been interred,” the family said.
The Mugabe’s also appointed former mining minister, Walter Chidakwa to communicate their stance to the authorities.
“To that end we confirm that Honourable Chidakwa may communicate our position with relevant authorities to a make sure that we develop a programme that conforms to the wishes of the late Robert Mugabe. We have also tasked Patrick Zhuwao to disseminate this statement.”
This is not the first time the government has been cautioned to stop interfering in the funeral arrangements of national hero, as the same occurred in June this year during burial of late national hero, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, also the ZAPU leader.
In no uncertain terms, the Dabengwa family said they would not tolerate any interference, even announcing publicly during their position before thousands at the burial day.
The Dabengwa family said it would first go through its own planned programme and when through, could the government do as it pleased.