Zimbabwe: Coup Stress Accelerated Mugabe's Health Challenges, Says Nephew

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and former First Lady Grace Mugabe during the funeral service for Robert Mugabe.
16 September 2019

LATE former President Robert Mugabe's nephew says the founding leader's health challenges took a turn for the worse when he was forcibly removed from power 2017 by his most trusted lieutenants.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com during Mugabe's funeral wake, Leo Mugabe, who is family spokesperson during the late President's mourning period, said shock events of November 2017 left every family member shocked and hurt.

This was worse off, said the former ZIFA boss, because Mugabe was betrayed by his own.

"Initially, I was also bitter because after 2017, his health began to deteriorate, deteriorate very fast.

"Two weeks before his death, he was able to walk and then slowly he was now not able to walk. This was not pleasing at all," Mugabe's nephew said.

"So for me, he has rested, he was stressed, he did not believe what had happened because the people who were close to him, betrayed him.

"And in turn, for us as a family, he wanted us to continue with our lives.

"Robert Mugabe is dead. To be honest with you, life has to continue.

"We may not forget but we have to forgive. We were all hurt with what happened in 2017. But we cannot allow that hatred to continue in us because then we do have a future.

"We need to build up from now going forward."

Addressing a Mugabe memorial service that was attended by several sitting and former African leaders, ex-cabinet Minister and relative to the late State leader, Walter Chidhakwa said his uncle died a "sad, sad man".

Mugabe is yet to be laid to rest to allow government some time to construct a special shrine at the National Heroes Acre to preserve his remains.

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