FORMER President Robert Mugabe will be laid to rest on Sunday at the national heroes acre in Harare, a day his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa will be celebrating his birthday and turning 77 years of age.
Sunday is Mnangagwa’s 77th birthday.
While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not specific as to where the former Zanu PF leader who died, Friday at the age of 95 in Singapore would be laid to rest, NewZimbabwe.com has learnt that all is set for Harare.
“He will be buried in Harare and at the national heroes acre,” sources said.
There has been speculation that Mugabe might be buried in his rural Zvimba Village after media reports claimed two weeks ago that he told close family members before he died that he did not want to be laid to rest at the national shrine.
But family spokesperson Leo Mugabe said the claims were news to him.
“We have never heard that. It’s news to us,” Leo Mugabe told NewZimbabwe.com.
He added: “Our elders are finalising everything and we will make an announcement. The elders want to follow our tradition that relates to the burial of traditional leaders.”
In a notice to all diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there will be a public funeral service at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Saturday while burial is set for Sunday.
“The State funeral service will be held on Saturday 14 September 2019, in the morning at the National Sports Stadium. Times will be advised. Heads of State and Government wishing to attend the ceremony are advised to arrive in Harare on Friday 13 September 2019,” said the notice.
The dignitaries according to the notice are expected to leave immediately after the public service” taking into consideration that government authorities will be fully occupied with preparations for the burial service reserved for Sunday 15 September.”
Mugabe’s remains are expected in Harare on Wednesday. Government, according to highly placed sources, has chartered a plane from Harare to Singapore that will take a team comprising members of the Mugabe and Marufu (Former First Lady Grace’s) families as well as State officials.
“On arrival the plan is that the body will be taken to Zvimba on Wednesday, return to Harare on Thursday where it will lie in State and allow people from all provinces to view the body before burial on Sunday at the national heroes acre,” NewZimbabwe.com heard.