Eleven Heads of State and eight former Presidents from various African countries have so far confirmed their attendance at the late former President Robert Mugabe’s State funeral service set for Saturday.
Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet in charge of Presidential Communications, Mr George Charamba confirmed the list of the Heads of State that will attend the ceremony in a statement this afternoon.
The 11 are Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, DRC’S Felix Tshisekedi, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, Malawi’s Arthur Peter Mutharika, Angola’s Joao Laurenco, Saharawi’s Brahim Ghali, South Africa’s Cyril Rhamaphosa, Mozambique’s Felipe Nyusi, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, Namibia’s Hage Geingob and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Most of the leaders are expected in the country on Saturday with the exception of Presidents Geingob and Ghali. The former Presidents that have also confirmed their attendance are Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda, Mozambique’s Joachim Chissano, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, Namibia’s Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba and Botswana’s Festus Mogae.
The family of Zimbabwe's former strongman Robert Mugabe and government officials appear at odds about where the late leader will be buried.
The government had earlier stated that Mugabe, who died last week at the age of 95, would be buried at the Heroes’ Acre state monument, a burial place reserved for top officials of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party.However, it seems some family members want to follow Zimbabwean tradition and bury Mugabe at his home village of Kutama.President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who declared Mugabe a national hero when he confirmed the death last Friday, said he and the ex-president’s widow, Grace, and other family members will have private discussions over the controversial issue.
"We have no idea where we will bury him yet," said Mnangagwa at the Mugabe family home of Thursday. "We need to talk to Amai (Mrs. Mugabe) and the family first."
Mugabe died last week in a hospital in Singapore following months of an undisclosed illness. His body was returned back to the capital city of Harare on Thursday.
Later Thursday the casket is to be taken to Rufaro Stadium in Harare's poor Mbare neighborhood and then to Zvimba, Mugabe's birthplace 55 miles northwest of the capital, where it is expected to stay overnight.
On Friday the casket is to go back to Rufaro stadium and on Saturday a ceremony will be held at the National Sports Stadium, which African heads of state and other prominent officials are expected to attend. Supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party are being bused from all over the country to go to the stadium ceremonies.