The family of the former Zimbabwean president Robert Gabriel Mugabe, carried out his wish on earth, by doing exactly what he had wished for while alive.
Mugabe’s was buried in a tamper-proof casket because he feared that people would “use my body”, according to his family.
He was buried at Kutama village, his rural home village, on Saturday, near his mother, instead of the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
Mugabe’s nephew and family spokesperson, Leo Mugabe, told Zimpapers Television Network that “he wanted to be buried next to his mother but there is no space there” so the family elected to bury him, at a private ceremony, in the same village as his mother.
Asked about speculation around the family changing his casket, Leo said: “Originally, why we changed is because we wanted a tamper-proof casket because you know, with rituals and things like that, people are really after his body, body parts, so we wanted something that was tamper-proof. That is why the casket was changed in the first place.”
He said it was Mugabe’s idea in the first place.
The body of Zimbabwe’s late former President Robert Mugabe was buried in his rural village of Kutama after weeks of wrangling between his family and the government over his final resting place.
Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on September 6, aged 95, almost two years after a military coup ended his 37-year rule.
Hundreds of mourners assembled for the low-key event, which was initially intended to be a private family ceremony.
Many wore white Mugabe-emblazoned T-shirts with the slogans “Founding father”, “Liberator” and “Torch bearer”. Some were singing and dancing, while others sat quietly under two white tents set up for the occasion.
Mugabe’s widow Grace and his children accompanied the casket – draped in Zimbabwe’s green, yellow, red and black flag.
White flower installations spelt out the words “Dad” and “Baba”, meaning “father” in the local Shona language.
“This is a man who made use of the gifts he was given by God,” said the priest who presided over the funeral. “This man was an asset, he was not a liability.”
No senior government officials were among the audience, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a once-trusted deputy who helped remove Mugabe from power in 2017.
Mugabe’s family had earlier agreed to a government request to bury him at a shrine in the capital, Harare, but only after a hilltop mausoleum was built to set him apart from former comrades.
But the government on Thursday abruptly announced the family had changed its mind.
On Thursday evening, the remains of the country’s founding father were moved from his house in Harare, with police and military vehicles escorting them to Kutama, some 90 kilometres (55 miles) further west.
It was the second time Mugabe’s body made its way back to Kutama village in Zvimba district. When the body was first taken home last week for the public to pay their last respects, it was airlifted by a military helicopter.