A plane carrying the body of Zimbabwe’s ex-president, Robert Mugabe, landed in Harare on Wednesday, for burial in a country divided over the legacy of his 37-year rule.
Accompanying the body was Mugabe’s widow, Grace and the former First Couple’s three children and son-in-law Simbarashe Chikore as well as a few relatives.
The Mugabe family came aboard the charter flight A6-DAS and almost all were dressed in mourning black attires.
Mugabe, a guerrilla leader who rose to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and governed until he was ousted by the military in 2017, died in Singapore on Friday, aged 95.
His health deteriorated after he was toppled by the army and former loyalists in November 2017, ending an increasingly iron-fisted rule during which he crushed his opponents.
Around two thousand supporters, family members and government officials were on the tarmac at Harare airport to welcome Mugabe’s remains as they arrived by charter flight from Singapore and his Casket was brought down from the cargo section of the jet.
Soldiers stood guard along a red carpet as military officers walked solemnly with the coffin drapped in the green, gold, black and red national flag.
His wife, Grace, wearing a black veil, sat with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The body will be taken to Mugabe’s private Harare residence, known as the Blue Roof, for the night. It will be laid out for the public to pay their respects in Rufaro stadium on Thursday, before heading to his homestead Zvimba.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, former Cuban leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including Malawi’s Peter Mutharika, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe’s state funeral on Saturday in Harare, Zimbabwe’s presidency said.
Mugabe’s final burial place on Sunday, though, is still unclear.
His family and Mnangagwa’s government are apparently at odds over whether it would be at his homestead northwest of Harare or at a shrine for liberation heroes in the capital.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :