The body of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives, Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 11, 2019. Mugabe died on Friday September 6 in Singapore after a long illness. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
The body of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives, Harare, Zimbabwe, on September 11, 2019. Mugabe died on Friday September 6 in Singapore after a long illness. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Harare — The body of Zimbabwe’s former president, Robert Mugabe, arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday afternoon but there is still no confirmation of his final resting place.

The government and his family are still in discussions about his final resting place with the family insisting he be buried in his rural village, as per his last wishes.

The government is insisting he is buried at the national shrine just outside Harare, where those who played a prominent role in Zimbabwe's struggle for independence are buried.

A crowd of hundreds of people that included Zanu-PF supporters, relatives and sympathisers gathered at the national airport, which is named after Mugabe, to welcome the body.

It was a hair-raising moment when Mugabe’s body was transferred from the chartered jet to a military hearse, as some of the flag-waving supporters cheered while others shed tears upon seeing the casket carrying the remains.

Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, who wore a black veil covering her face, appeared inconsolable after she disembarked from the plane to be welcomed by Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Mugabe couple and Mnangagwa had not seen eye to eye and had been communicating through emissaries since the takeover that was backed by the military.

Addressing the crowd, Mnangagwa heaped praise on Mugabe but did not announce his burial site.

“The entire nation of Zimbabwe, our people, across the board are grieved and are in mourning because the light which led us to independence is no more, but his works, his ideology will continue to guide this nation.

“On the day we shall lay him to rest, on Sunday, I appeal to you in your hundreds, in your thousands, in your millions to show your love of our great leader who has left us,” he added.

Mugabe’s body was then taken to a military barracks after which it was expected to be taken to his Blue Roof home in Harare.

The former president died in Singapore last Friday from prostate cancer.