PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe left Harare for Malawi Saturday meaning he will miss Sunday's burial of ZAPU nationalist Stanley Urayayi Sakupwanya who died last Tuesday.
Mugabe is in the Malawi capital Lilongwe for the country's 50th independence celebrations set for Sunday.
Acting President Joice Mujuru is expected to preside over the burial of Sakupwanya at the Heroes Acre.
A medical doctor, Lieutenant Colonel Sakupwanya died in Harare after a long illness. He was 75.
Sakupwanya joined Zapu in 1961 and would represent the party in the former Soviet Union, Uganda and Zambia.
After Independence in 1980, he joined the army as a senior medical officer and rose through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel, the rank he held when he left in 1983 to go into private medical practice.
He was Nyanga South Senator from 2005 to last year and also a member of the Zanu PF's politburo.