Harare, Zimbabwe – The family of former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe does not want the late liberation war hero buried at the country’s National Heroes Acre, preferring a family shrine in keeping with his last wishes.
According to a government memo sent to diplomatic missions, Mugabe’s funeral will be in Harare’s National Sports Stadium on Saturday, though it didn’t specify where the burial would be on Sunday.
Mugabe, who died aged 95 in Singapore on Friday, did not want people behind his political downfall in November 2017 playing a role at his funeral, a relative said on Sunday.
Mugabe was removed from power in a coup after he fired Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice president at the instigation of his wife, Grace, and a faction of ambitious and young politicians loyal to the late leader.
Funerals for national heroes are officiated by a sitting president, which would be Mnangagwa, who is now Zimbabwe’s leader.
A close family member told Al Jazeera that discussions between top government officials and the family to change Mugabe’s final resting place were under way.
The relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mugabe’s relationship with his protege Mnangagwa had soured after the coup.
“He was not happy with the fact that Mnangagwa had not come to see him. He believed in dialogue and people finding each other. This did not happen. I believe this would have turned out differently if this meeting had happened,” the source said.