The body of Robert Mugabe, founder and former president of Zimbabwe, has arrived in capital Harare but his final resting place remains a mystery amid dispute between some family members and the government.
Mugabe, one of the last “Big Men” of African politics who ruled the southern African nation for 37 years until he was removed by his own army in November 2017, died in a Singapore hospital last Friday.
While a burial is expected to be held on Sunday, the site where Mugabe, 95, will be buried is still unknown.
The fight over his resting place threatens to embarrass his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and deepen divisions in the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Mnangagwa and his party want Mugabe buried at a national monument to heroes of the liberation war against the white minority Rhodesian regime.
But some of Mugabe’s relatives – who share his bitterness at the way former allies, including Mnangagwa, conspired to topple him – want him buried in his home village in Kutama, 85 kilometres from the capital.
Reporting from Harare, Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa said Mugabe’s burial was a “contentious issue”.
“Within the Mugabe family, there is infighting, with some of them wanting him to be buried at the national monument in the capital,” she said. “Others want him buried back home in his village.”
Mugabe’s nephew and family spokesperson Leo Mugabe said the former leader’s wife Grace and Zimbabwean Vice President Kembo Mohadi accompanied the leader’s body on a chartered plane, which landed in Harare at around 1300 GMT.