The government of Zimbabwe wanted the former president, Robert Mugabe who ruled for 37 years to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. But the family initially disagreed.

Why Mugabe's family was against 'Heroes' burial
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, leaves with Grace Mugabe after receiving the body of her husband, former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe in Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 11, 2019. PHOTO: Reuters/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The family, however, said they wanted him buried in his rural hometown alongside his mother.

After days of back and forth, the burial was postponed to October to allow time to build a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre and for traditional rituals to be carried out.

A Zimbabwe political analyst, Tinashe Muzamwindo said the real reason behind the tussle on the former president’s burial place was that the family wants assurance that they will retain their fortune.

“Grace wanted Mnangagwa to give her assurance that the family wealth was going to be protected; she wanted immunity and security. When Mnangagwa assured her that, she was happy to let the body be buried at the National Heroes Acre,”

Although Robert Mugabe presented himself as a socialist, his family secretly amassed vast wealth during his rule, and his wife, often dubbed “Gucci” Grace, was notorious for her lavish tastes and shopping sprees.

The Mugabes are one of the most affluent families in Zimbabwe, owning multiple properties, including a dairy farm, a private school and a game reserve, dpa reported.

However, Mugabe’s villa, known as the “Blue Roof”, in Harare’s elite suburb of Borrowdale Brooke, and another mansion where his daughter Bona lives, are in Zanu-PF’s name.

Mnangagwa, whose challenge to Grace Mugabe’s leadership ambitions in part led to her husband’s overthrow by the military in 2017, has on several occasions said that the family will be taken care of.

It is presumed that the agreement of allowing the family to retain the wealth is why the family allowed Mugabe’s body to be buried at the National Heroes Acre.

Obert Mpofu, secretary for administration of the ruling party, Zanu-PF was quoted by dpa to have said “The title deeds will soon be transferred into the family’s name,” Mpofu said.

Vanguard News.


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