Harare(New Ziana)-President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday said his late predecessor Robert Mugabe will not have an ordinary burial as Government was building a mausoleum for him at the National Heroes Acre.
A mausoleum is a stately or impressive building housing a tomb or group of tombs.
The President told journalists at State House soon after bidding visiting Equatorial Guinea leader Theodore Obiang Nguema who had come to pay his condolences that there would be no burial on Sunday.
“We are having a memorial service tomorrow at the National Sports Stadium. We are building a mausoleum for our founding father on top of the hill at Heroes Acre, it will not be finished. So we will only bury him after we have completed the construction of the mausoleum,” he said without hinting on when that would be.
The confirmation ends speculation which had gripped the country about his burial place since his death last Friday in Singapore where he was receiving medical treatment.
The uncertainty had been fuelled by reports that the former leader had told his family in his last days that he wanted to be buried at his rural home in Zvimba, next to his mother.
On his meeting with President Nguema, President Mnangagwa said: “He was the last Head of State to visit our late former President in Singapore; four days before his passing on. So he was conveying to me the discussions he had with our founding father when he saw him on his way from TICAD in Japan”.
A formal funeral service will be held on Saturday at the National Sports Stadium, expected to be attended by 11 heads of state and government from the continent.
In an interview on arrival at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, President Nguema said the late ex- President would be remembered for championing Zimbabwe’s land reform programme.
“He was a leader without comparison on the African continent. His memory will forever remain among us on the continent. The people of Zimbabwe will forever be grateful that he took land from the whites and gave it to his people,” he said.
A special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, vice chairman of CPPC Gu Shangzu also conveyed his leader’s condolences to President Mnangagwa.
“The former President Mugabe was a friend of the Chinese people, he visited China 14 times,” he said.
Former President Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until his resignation in 2017, and died at the age of 95.