“Go Well Our Revolutionary Icon” and “Farewell Gallant Son of the Soil” were among the banners praising Mugabe, who led the bitter guerrilla war to end white-minority rule in the country then known as Rhodesia. Robert Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s first leader and ruled the country from 1980 for 37 years, from years of prosperity to economic ruin and repression.
The family of Zimbabwe founder Robert Mugabe is pushing back against the government’s plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare and wants him to be buried in his home village instead, three relatives told Reuters. Zimbabweans have been confused about when and where they would get to pay their last respects to Mugabe since his death in a Singapore hospital on Friday after a long illness. Mugabe had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup. Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and ruthlessly crushing his opponents. The Zimbabwean government said in a memo sent to embassies on Sunday that it planned to hold a state funeral for Mugabe in the National Sports Stadium on Saturday, with a burial ceremony on Sunday, but it did not say where the burial would be held. The choice of Mugabe’s resting place has been a topic of discussion since the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe would snub the offer of a burial at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for the country’s heroes – because he felt bitter about the way he was removed from power. If Robert Mugabe is buried in Kutama village, 85 km (52 miles) from Harare, it would be a major rebuke of
Robert Mugabe, the former leader of Zimbabwe forced to resign in 2017 after a 37-year rule whose early promise was eroded by economic turmoil, disputed elections and human rights violations, has died. He was 95. His successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed Mugabe’s death in a tweet Friday 6 September 2019, mourning him as an “icon of liberation.” He did not provide details. “Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Mnangagwa said. Mugabe, who took power after white minority rule ended in 1980, blamed Zimbabwe’s economic problems on international sanctions and once said he wanted to rule for life. But growing discontent about the southern African country’s fractured leadership and other problems prompted a military intervention, impeachment proceedings by the parliament and large street demonstrations for his removal. The announcement of Mugabe’s Nov. 21, 2017 resignation after he initially ignored escalating calls to quit triggered wild celebrations in the streets of the capital, Harare. Well into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his years in power and reflected hopes for a better future. On the streets in the capital, Harare, on Friday people gathered in small groups sharing the news. “I will not shed a tear, not for that cruel man,”