The body of Robert Mugabe has left Singapore on a private flight destined for his home country of Zimbabwe. From there, it will be taken to his home village in Kutama, west of the capital Harare, where there will be an overnight wake.
On Thursday and Friday, Mr Mugabe is due to lie in state at Rufaro Stadium, in Mbare township in Harare, where he was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s first prime minister after independence from the UK in 1980. His official state funeral will take place on Saturday at the 60,000-seat National Sports Stadium in Harare.
In a letter forwarded to foreign embassies to brief them on the itinerary of Mugabe’s burial, the Zimbabwean foreign ministry stated that all foreign dignitaries are expected to depart the country immediately after the ‘State Funeral Service’ taking into consideration that government authorities will be fully occupied with preparations for the burial service/ceremony.
The former president had been receiving hospital treatment in the city state before he died last week aged 95. Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s first leader after the country became independent in 1980. He held on to power for almost four decades before being ousted in a coup in 2017.
Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for ruthlessly crushing his opponents and wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies.