Mugabe to be buried at national monument: family

Soldiers welcome Mugabe's body at the airport in Harare

Soldiers welcome Mugabe's body at the airport in Harare

Zimbabwe's founder Robert Mugabe will be buried at a national shrine in Harare on Sunday, the Mugabe family spokesman said on Friday, contradicting comments a day earlier which suggested the family was resisting the government's burial plans.

"The family and traditional leaders have pronounced that he will be buried at the National Heroes Acre", said Mr Mugabe.

Mugabe died aged 95 on Friday in Singapore after battling ill health.

Mugabe was ousted from power in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe's body arrived in Zimbabwe from Singapore on Wednesday and started three days of lying in state on Thursday.

Mnangagwa, a one-time protege of Mugabe, called the former president a "national icon" after his death.

Leo Mugabe said later there was no feud, claiming the burial would be private.

Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in 2017, in what many believed was an attempt to position his wife Grace to succeed him.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban former leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe's state funeral on Saturday in Harare.

Despite Mugabe's long history with his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe was adamant that he did not want him Mnangagwa to take over and had openly stated that he preferred Defence minister, Sydney Sekeramai. But the family said traditional chiefs in his homestead in the Zvimba region should decide.

Zimbabweans are now lining up to pay their respects to Mugabe.

Zimbabweans still struggle to survive, with a once-vaunted public health system now a shambles and the economy still in crisis.

Mnangagwa himself is under pressure after promising a new post-Mugabe era of more investment and jobs after he came to power, with little success.

His government's fuel price hike this year sparked protests which led to a crackdown on opposition and clashes in which soldiers opened fire killing 17 people.

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