Friday, September 27, 2019

Media Shut Out Of 'Tormented' Mugabe Burial

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Information just received indicates that President Emmerson Mnangagwa will not be attending the late former President Robert Mugabe’s private family burial in Zvimba this weekend.
According to the reports, Mnangagwa has designated Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema to stand for him and read his speech at the burial if the family opens up space for government officials to take part in the programme.
Mugabe and Mnangagwa had a fallout since the later disposed him from power in coup in November 2017 leading to Mugabe making dying wishes that include a call for Mnangagwa not to preside over his burial.
Mugabe also told the family that he does not want Mnangagwa and his allies to take custody of his body as it might be used for ritualistic purposes, sources said.
Before his death in Singapore, Mugabe told his family that he does not want to be associated with Mnangagwa, some government officials and military chiefs, whom he viewed as “betrayers” and “tormentors”.
Mugabe also told his family that he does not want Mnangagwa and the government to have custody of his body at any given moment and pontificate over it, insisting Grace and other family members must closely stick to it until it is interred.
Mnangagwa is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on Friday night from the UN General Assembly.Patrick Zhuwao, a nephew of late former president Robert Mugabe, who is due for a private family burial this weekend says his uncle died a tormented man.
Speaking to City Press newspaper of South Africa recently, Zhuwao said his uncle was forced to seek refuge in a foreign country after “some of his own had turned against him and weighed him down mentally”.
The late struggle stalwart was, according to his nephew, “forced to seek peace of mind in Singapore, where he rented his own accommodation, had no doctor or nurse at hand, was bathed by his wife and son, and was even forced to travel to hospital using Singapore’s equivalent to Uber”.
Zhuwao said the last straw for Robert Mugabe – who was deposed in 2017 – was when the current administration, led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, realised that killing the ousted leader would result in a huge fallout – so, they resorted to using local TV stations to air content that was meant to “weigh him [Mugabe] down mentally”.
“The old man loved watching news on television. However, since his unceremonious ousting from power in a coup in 2017, most of his former allies had turned against him and were uttering obscenities against him on a regular basis, something that scarred him immensely.
“For his own peace of mind, he decided to leave the country,” said Zhuwao.
“Mugabe had no doctor looking after him. Mrs Mugabe had to train staff to assist the family. He was looked after by domestic workers who had no medical training; these are the people who were assisting Mrs Mugabe to look after her husband.
“When he needed to go on regular trips to see the doctor, they had to order the equivalent of Uber, called Grab – a Singaporean transport company offering this service,” said Zhuwao.
He said such treatment would explain why the family was struggling to reconcile with Mnangagwa and his administration, which he accused of “grandstanding and wanting Mugabe to be buried according to their preference”.
“They cannot have a say because they abandoned him,” he said.
He said that, even when “Mugabe knew that his life was slipping away and could have quite easily said: ‘Take me back to Zimbabwe; I am going to die in Zimbabwe,’ he had opted to rather die in a foreign country – away from most of his colleagues who had ostracised him and blamed him for everything that went wrong”.
Mugabe’s family yesterday dumped government plans to bury Mugabe in a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre and quickly moved to their rural home in Zvimba where he will be buried tomorrow.
Journalists and other visitors were on Thursday turned away from close to Mugabe’s rural home where secret burial preparations are underway.