Robert Mugabe's body arrives home for burial in divided Zimbabwe

Mugabe burial in Zimbabwe 'sometime next week' - family spokesman

Robert Mugabe to be buried next week in his village: Family

It will be laid out for the public to pay their respects in Rufaro stadium on Thursday, before heading to his homestead Zvimba.

The body of former president Robert Mugabe arrives to lie in state inside his official residence in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

Mugabe died in Singapore last week at the age of 95, leaving Zimbabweans torn over the legacy of a leader once lauded as a colonial-era liberation hero, but whose autocratic 37-year rule ended in a coup in 2017.

Mugabe's body was later flown to the Rufaro soccer stadium in Harare's Mbare high density suburb, where thousands of mourners filed past the open coffin.

Speaking at the Mugabe house, Mnangagwa said his government would respect the family's wishes over the burial, saying they have "the full support of the government".

Zimbabwean ex-president Robert Mugabe will be buried next week in his village, his family said on Thursday, delivering an apparent snub to government plans to bury him at a national monument.

Mugabe's first wife, Sally, is buried there next to a gravesite long reserved for the ex-leader.

Soon after, Mugabe was toppled by protesters and the army in what was seen as part of a power struggle within the ruling ZANU-PF party between pro-Mnangagwa factions and Mugabe loyalists siding with his wife Grace.

"We are being coerced by Mnangagwa to ignore Mugabe's wishes on where his remains should be interred".

However, friends and allies of Mugabe's wife, Grace, have said he made clear he would prefer to be buried in Zvimba with only close relatives in attendance.

Mnangagwa, flanked by security and half a dozen soldiers carrying rifles, visited Mugabe's palatial home, known as Blue Roof, in the capital on Thursday to pay his respects.

"The government should let him be buried at his rural home if that it is what he wanted", said taxi driver Desire Benhure, 28.

The family of Zimbabwe's former strongman Robert Mugabe and government officials appear at odds about where the late leader will be buried.

Ibbo Mandaza, a political analyst who is writing a biography of Mugabe, said Mnangagwa was trying to avoid the possibility of a situation where heads of state and opposition rival Nelson Chamisa would attend a burial service in Mugabe's home district to which he was not invited.

The state preferred the National Heroes' Acre in Harare.

"In politics we have had many differences but we are here to reflect on his contribution". Supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party are being bused from all over the country to go to the stadium ceremonies.

Upon completion of the facelift, the Robert Mugabe International Airport is expected to be a regional hub for airlines in a move expected to help restore the country's status in the aviation sector which at its peak hosted over 40 air carriers.

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