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Mugabe’s body may return home next week

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A man buys a daily newspaper at a stand on the streets of Nairobi, on September 7, 2019, following the death of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, guerrilla hero turned despot who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years. Mugabe, 95, passed away on September 6, 2019 in Singapore, where he had been hospitalised in April. First heralded as a liberator who rid the former British colony Rhodesia of white minority rule, Mugabe used repression and fear to govern until he was finally ousted by his previously loyal generals in November 2017.SIMON MAINA / AFP


Robert Mugabe’s nephew said Sunday that a delegation was expected to leave Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the hero-turned-despot’s body from Singapore where he died two days ago.

Mugabe, a guerilla leader who swept to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and ruled for 37 years, died on Friday, aged 95.

His health took a hit after he was ousted by the military in November 2017, ending his increasingly tyrannical rule. He had been travelling to Singapore for treatment since April.

“I can’t give an authoritative day, all I know is people are leaving tomorrow Monday to go and pick up the body,” Leo Mugabe told AFP.

“So assuming they get there on Tuesday and the body is ready, logically you would think they should land here on Wednesday,” he said, adding that a list of accompanying family members was being finalised.

Once praised as a liberator who rid Zimbabwe of white minority rule, Mugabe soon turned to repression and fear to govern.

He is widely remembered for crushing political dissent and ruining the economy, prompting mixed reactions to his passing.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a period of “national mourning” on Friday, without providing further detail.

The government is expected to announce when Mugabe’s body will be returned to Zimbabwe and provide details of the funeral in coming days.

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