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Mugabe's body heads back to a divided Zimbabwe for burial

Mugabe's body heads back to a divided Zimbabwe for burial

A state funeral service for the late former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe will be held at a sports stadium in Harare on September 14 and burial will be a day later, but there is still no decision on where he will be interred, MaraviPost noted.

However, family spokesman Leo Mugabe, a nephew of the former president, said over the weekend that burial arrangements have not yet been finalized.

A plane carrying Mugabe's body was due to leave Singapore at 8.50 am (0040 GMT), the programme of events showed.

Mugabe died Friday at a hospital in Singapore at age 95.

Zimbabweans have been divided over how to mourn a former leader once hailed as a liberation hero but who later brutally repressed his opponents.

Mr Mugabe, 95, a controversial leader who ruled his country for nearly 40 years, will lie in state at two different locations in the capital of Harare.

The 35,000-seater stadium is where Mugabe took his oath of office when Ian Smith, the Prime Minister under the colonial Rhodesian regime, handed over power.

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The Malawi leader is one of several heads of state and former presidents expected to land in Zimbabwe for the funeral on Saturday.

Mugabe's 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.

He said, "Mugabe was a chief and he will be buried in accordance with tradition".

He will be buried on Sunday but the location remains unclear.

Meanwhile, his body is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on Wednesday before being taken to Rufaro Stadium in Mbare township on Thursday for public viewing by the nation.

Attempts to break the deadlock between the Zimbabwean government and former President Robert Mugabe's relatives over his burial place are reported to have been unfruitful after a succession of meetings, sources have revealed.