Robert Mugabe, the former Zimbabwean leader, died from cancer at the age of 95, the current President has said. He passed away on September 6 in Singapore as his chemotherapy treatment was stopped because it was no longer effective. Mugabe is still to be buried as the government is building a mausoleum at Zimbabwe's national shrine reserved for liberation warfighters in the capital. Currently, his mortal remains are being kept at his Blue Roof residence in Harare. African heads of state joined thousands of Zimbabweans at a state funeral on September 21 at the National Sports Stadium in the capital.
Rober Mugabe's burial has been delayed for a month but he got a state funeral where more than ten African leaders and several former presidents attended the service. The crowd filled about 30 percent of the stadium and those attending were mostly the supporters of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta described Mugabe as “a great icon of African Liberation and a visionary leader and relentless champion of African dignity”. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President of Zimababwe hailed Mugabe as a “Bold, steadfast revolutionary”. He also claimed that “A giant tree of Africa has fallen”. He further praised Mugabe for seizing land from white farmers. He also led the bitter guerrilla war to end white-minority rule in the country. “Go Well Our Revolutionary Icon” and “Farewell Gallant Son of the Soil” were among the banners praising Mugabe which were seen at the state funeral.
Mugabe’s death has been marked by the ongoing drama over where, when and how the ex-strongman will be buried. The new resting place will be reportedly built near the stadium at Heroes’ Acre, a national burial site for top officials of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party who contributed to ending white colonial rule. According to President Mnangagwa, the mausoleum will be at an elevated site above the other graves. Mugabe's wife, Grace had been reportedly insisting on a private burial rather than the state funeral and burial in a simple plot alongside other national heroes planned by the government but President Mnangagwa wanted the funeral to be grand.
(Inputs from AP)