Over 15 Presidents to attend Robert Mugabe's burial in Zimbabwe - International

Mugabe burial in Zimbabwe 'sometime next week' - family spokesman

Zimbabweans to view Mugabe's body amid burial dispute

Zimbabwe's president and the family of former president Robert Mugabe are in discussions Thursday to decide where the deceased leader will be buried.

Many of Mugabe's relatives oppose government plans for the funeral and burial of the man who ruled the country for almost 40 years before he was ousted in a military takeover in 2017.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was at the forefront of the 2017 military coup that ended Mugabe's 37-year rule, had declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the national monument.

They say Mugabe will not be buried on Sunday at the Heroes Acre in Harare, as proposed by the government.

Leo Mugabe, the late president's nephew, said the burial ceremony would be private.

Mugabe's family issued a statement saying it was concerned about the manner in which the Government was preparing the program for Mugabe's funeral "without consulting his immediate family".

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Some family members are still bitter over Mugabe's ouster and the role played by Mnangagwa, a long-time ally from their days as guerrilla fighters who eventually turned against him.

Mr Mugabe fired Mr Mnangagwa in 2017, in what many believed was a way to prepare for Mrs Mugabe to succeed him.

Soon after, Mugabe was toppled by protesters and the army in what was seen as part of a power struggle within the ruling ZANU-PF party between pro-Mnangagwa factions and Mugabe loyalists siding with Grace.

"Why can't Mnangagwa release a statement that says all those who have worked with president Mugabe who are facing this or that charge for the goal of this funeral you are all welcome", he said. It was later taken to Mr Mugabe's Harare villa, known as the Blue Roof, where family and supporters gathered to mourn.

The family says the government was wrong to make the announcement.

But the family said traditional chiefs in his homestead in the Zvimba region should decide where he should be buried. Mnangagwa and the family then began private talks. They are reportedly unhappy about his treatment of the former leader.

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Grace Mugabe wept by her husband's coffin today after the body of Zimbabwe's former dictator was returned to his home in Harare - with his family apparently gaining the upper hand in a row about his funeral.

Mourners sit around the body of former president Robert Mugabe, as he lies in state inside his official residence in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe.

Several heads of states, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki will attend his funeral. It is not unprecedented: other national heroes have declined to be buried at the Heroes Acre national shrine in Harare, but not one of Robert Mugabe's stature. "Otherwise he will become a ghost".

Mugabe hoisted the new Zimbabwe flag and lit the independence flame on April 18, 1980 - bringing hope for a new era after a long insurgency.

His leadership and economic mismanagement forced millions to escape a country crippled by hyper-inflation and shortages of food, drugs and fuel.

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