22 May 2007

Zimbabwe: President's Brother Donato Laid to Rest

Harare — PRESIDENT Mugabe's younger brother, Cde Donato Mugabe, who died over the weekend, was yesterday buried at Kutama Mission in Zvimba at a ceremony attended by hundreds of people from all walks of life.

Among those who attended the burial were service chiefs, Politburo and Central Committee members and Cabinet ministers.

Also in attendance were senior Zanu-PF and Government officials as well as business executives.

The ceremony started with a church service that was conducted by the Roman Catholic Church.

Addressing the mourners, President Mugabe reiterated that his younger brother was a principled man. He paid tribute to his late mother Bona for instilling discipline into the family as they grew up.

The President said it was important for one to be disciplined and principled as well as standing for the truth.

"Let us know that there are certain norms we must observe wherever we go," he said.

Cde Mugabe said his main bone of contention with outgoing British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair was that the British Premier could not withstand being told the truth.

He said Mr Blair wanted the world to turn a blind eye to the brutal killing of the Iraqi people by British and American soldiers.

The President paid tribute to the hundreds of people who had joined the Mugabe family during their time of bereavement.

"We are together. We are one," he said.

Family members who spoke at the funeral paid tribute to Cde Donato Mugabe for playing an instrumental role in bringing up the family.

These included Makonde legislator Cde Leo Mugabe, Cde Bridget Mugabe and Cde Donato Mugabe's eldest son Cde Kaitano Mugabe.

The President's younger brother died on Saturday at Parirenyatwa Hospital after a long battle with a heart aliment, diabetes and hypertension.

He was born in 1926 and was educated at Kutama College before he joined the liberation struggle. During the war, Cde Donato Mugabe had several brushes with the law and was arrested and imprisoned for possessing arms.

After retiring from teaching, he became a farmer in Zvimba.

He is survived by nine children and two wives.

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