Zimbabwe: Mugabe Body for Rufaro

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and former First Lady Grace Mugabe, centre, at the arrival of former President Robert Mugabe’s body from Singapore at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.
12 September 2019

The body of former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe is expected to be taken to Rufaro Stadium today and tomorrow to afford citizens from the country's 10 provinces an opportunity to bid him farewell.

His body arrived home from Singapore yesterday afternoon.

Provinces will be allowed to bid Cde Mugabe farewell in clusters of five per day.

On Saturday, international guests would be afforded an opportunity to bid farewell to the national hero at the National Sports Stadium.

President Mnangagwa is expected to address mourners on Saturday at the National Sports Stadium.

Burial of the former President is expected to take place on Sunday at a venue to be agreed on by the State and the Mugabe family.

Finer details of former President Mugabe's funeral would be known by mid-morning after a meeting between President Mnangagwa and former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

This was revealed by Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba, who is also the Presidential spokesperson, last night in an exclusive interview with The Herald.

"The body of the former President (Cde Mugabe) will be taken to Rufaro Stadium over a period of two days where provinces in clusters of five per day, would be afforded an opportunity of bidding farewell to the former leader," said Mr Charamba.

"So that will be for Thursday and Friday, then of course Saturday we have the day for international guests who will pay their last respects to the dear departed.

"And this will be at the National Sports Stadium. This is where there will be a major address by the President. On Sunday the body is then taken for final interment at a venue that will be mutually agreed to between the family and the State."

Mr Charamba confirmed that Mrs Mugabe will meet President Mnangagwa this morning to craft the final programme of the funeral.

"The widow of the former President will meet with His Excellency the President tomorrow (today) morning where details of the entire programme will be finalised," he said.

"The meeting could not take place as was originally planned for two basic reasons; we needed to give time to the former First Lady to settle down, but more critically, there was a stream of Zimbabweans who were going to the residence of the former President to condole with the former First Lady so it was then decided that we defer the meeting to tomorrow.

"We expect that by mid-morning, there will be certainty to the details of the actual programme."

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