Former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe will be given a state funeral on Saturday with a dozen African leaders expected to pay tribute to a man lauded as a colonial-era liberation hero, AFP reports
Mugabe, who died last week in Singapore aged 95, left Zimbabwe torn over the legacy of his 37-year rule marked by brutal repression and economic crisis.
He died almost two years after former army loyalists forced him out in 2017, following a power struggle over what was widely perceived as his bid to have his wife Grace succeed him.
His body was returned from Singapore on Wednesday to a country divided and still struggling with inflation and the food and fuel shortages caused by decades of economic crisis.
“Despite certain misgivings, within certain quarters about his so-called mistakes… the government’s position is clear,” Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo told AFP. “The late President Mugabe is an icon.”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and a dozen current and former African leaders are expected to attend Saturday’s official funeral at a Harare sports stadium.
But his final burial at a national monument will only happen after a new mausoleum is built, his family said.
The “heroes” monument, where more than 130 national figures are buried in black marble tombs, sits on a hilltop overlooking Harare. Mugabe’s first wife, Sally is also buried there.