The body of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was buried on Saturday in his rural village of Kutama.
The family of Mugabe gathered in his rural homestead, three weeks after his death, to attend a much-awaited burial ceremony.
Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on September 6, aged 95, almost two years after a military coup ended his despotic 37-year rule.
His remains will be laid to rest in the courtyard of his home in the district of Zvimba, about 90 kilometres west of the capital Harare.
Hundreds of mourners assembled for the low-key event, which was initially intended to be a private family ceremony.
Many wore white Mugabe-emblazoned T-shirts with the slogans “founding father”, “liberator” and “torch bearer”.
Some were singing and dancing. Others sat quietly under two white tents set up for the occasion.
No senior government officials were among the audience.
The Mugabe family opted to bury Zimbabwe’s founding father in Kutama after weeks of wrangling with the government, who wanted the body to rest at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
A mausoleum was being constructed at the site, which is reserved for heroes of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.
“What we have done is his wish,” said Grace’s older sister Shuvai Gumbochuma, addressing mourners in Shona.
He (Mugabe) said with his own mouth that he didn’t want to be buried at the heroes acre.”
Ruling ZANU-PF party described the family’s decision as “most unfortunate”.
“All patriotic Zimbabweans were shocked to learn that the remains of the former president had been surreptitiously taken yesterday to Zvimba for a private burial,” said spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo in a statement on Friday.
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