6 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Stays Away From Stamps' Funeral, Sends Letter of Condolence

FORMER president Robert Mugabe snubbed the memorial service of his health advisor and friend Timothy Stamps held this Wednesday.

Mugabe, who has been shy of the public since resigning about two weeks ago, did not even visit the Stamps family after the passing on of his special servant.

The Stamps family said the former first family had, however, sent a letter of condolence when Stamps, who was advisor to president and cabinet, succumbed to lung infection on the 26th of last month.

Asked why the Mugabes were conspicuously absent, Kenyon, the late Stamps' son, said he had spoken to the former president's family on Tuesday night who indicated they might visit the bereaved family any time after the memorial.

"I can't speak on his (Mugabe) behalf. We invited him but last night I spoke with the family, he had not received the message but he was very warm to us and expressed his wishes to be here.

I can't speak more than that except that the communication didn't reach him," said Kenyon.

Refusing to name who exactly he meant by the First Family, "I can't say who exactly but let me just say all. When I spoke to the family, they did express their wish to come and visit us after this ceremony."

Health minister David Parirenyatwa, who represented President Emmerson Mnangagwa, also declined to comment and referred questions to the Stamps family or the Mugabes themselves.

Another son to Stamps, Talfan, speaking during the ceremony, expressed gratitude to Mugabe for being a "friend" and doing a lot "for my dad after the stroke" in 2001. Stamps also had a neck support since 2015 after he fell and broke his neck but he continued to serve.

Stamps, a Welshman by birth, stayed in Zimbabwe for 49 years. He is survived by his wife, Cindy, and seven children.

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