Harare — SOME exiled former government ministers that fled Zimbabwe after a military coup have opted against returning home to pay their last respects to the deceased ex-president, Robert Mugabe.
They have cited security fears.
The ministers were branded as "criminals" by the military generals that ousted the veteran leader in late 2017. The allegations against the beleaguered politicians formed the basis of the coup that forced Mugabe to resign after over 37 years in power.
He died in Singapore on September 6, aged 95. Leaders from around the continent and the globe joined locals at a funeral service held in Harare this past weekend.
However, Mugabe's ministers, Jonathan Moyo (former Higher Education), Patrick Zhuwao (Mugabe's nephew and ex-Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare), Saviour Kasukuwere (former ruling party political commissar and ex-Local Government) and Walter Mzembi (former Foreign Affairs and Tourism) were absent.
Some have been living in neighbouring South Africa and told media they feared persecution if they attended the funeral.
A military source in Zimbabwe confirmed the former ministers would have been arrested if they travelled to the country.
"Those criminals will be mourning our liberation icon from foreign lands, otherwise the law will take its course if ever they set foot," said the military official.
The targeted group belonged to a faction, known as Generation 40, of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
They were advocating for the First Lady, Grace Mugabe, to succeed her husband.
The G40 was against another faction that backed Mnangagwa and had the support of the military.