Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, a close friend to the Mugabe family, has clarified that Sunday’s burial of former President Robert Mugabe is not a private event.
Speaking to Nehanda Radio, Gono said “If there is going to be any private event, it will take place after the public send-off that will take place at the National Shrine.
“The family would like the send-off to be attended by all who can and so so desire, without limitation or invitation cards as has been played out in some social media outlets.
“RG was not, and cannot be a private affair. He was not a village-boy. The funeral is not and cannot be a Zvimba affair alone, cannot be a Gushungo event alone, cannot and should not be a Zanu PF or Government affair alone.
Gono inisisted this “is not and cannot be a Mugabe family event alone, is not even a Zimbabwean event alone. It is an inclusive, National and international event of sorrow, farewell and celebration.”
“Former Prez RGM was bigger than any box we may want to confine him to and so going to the National Shrine, the Heroes Acre is not an option: It is something agreed upon by all parties to the matter comprising of the Former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe and immediate family and relatives, the Mugabe extended family, the Zvimba Chiefs and their families, the Gushungo Clan, the Marufu clan, the Sekuru’s from both sides, friends and relatives.
“All are very grateful to H.E. President ED Mnangagwa, ZANU ( PF) and all other political Parties, Government and all people of Zimbabwe and beyond for honoring the Legend in the manner unfolding.”
Gono claimed that reports of “disagreements or friction between families or between the late Heroes immediate or extended family and President E D Mnangagwa and /or Government of Zimbabwe is FAKE NEWS. The proceedings will go on in a United and well coordinated manner.”
He said each party to the arrangement is playing their role as defined by the understandings reached by the Government and the family. “I’m speaking as someone who has been involved with the family side of issues from last Saturday to this morning and authorized to say what I’m saying.
Family spokesman Leo Mugabe chipped in saying “I can confirm that he will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday,” adding that an official ceremony would be followed by a private family event at the monument to heroes of the liberation war against white minority rule.
Mugabe’s body arrived in Zimbabwe from Singapore on Wednesday and started three days of lying in state on Thursday.
Some of Mugabe’s relatives have expressed bitterness at the way former comrades including Mnangagwa ousted him and pushed for Mugabe to be buried in his home village.