Zimbabweans mourn founder Mugabe but confused over burial

Zimbabweans mourn founder Mugabe but confused over burial

Zimbabweans on Saturday mourned the death of their founding father Robert Mugabe, but there was confusion over when his body would be returned from abroad for burial, two years after he was toppled in a coup.

Mugabe died on Friday aged 95 in Singapore, where he had long received medical treatment.

He was one of the most polarising figures in African history, a giant of national liberation movements whose 37-year rule ended in ignominy when he was overthrown by his own army in November 2017.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who worked closely with Mugabe for decades before helping oust him, granted him the status of national hero on Friday, while tributes poured in from leaders across the continent.

Mugabe’s body was initially expected to arrive in South Africa early on Saturday before flying on to Zimbabwe.

But there was still no word on Saturday afternoon that the body had left Singapore.

There were no major public events to mark Mugabe’s passing in the capital Harare. Residents expressed a mix of sadness at the former president’s death and frustration that their daily hardships had not relented since he left power.

Mnangagwa said on Friday that Zimbabwe would be in mourning until Mugabe was buried, but he did not say when that would be.

It was also unclear whether Mugabe would be buried at Heroes Acre, a monument for national heroes built with the help of North Korean architects.