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Grace asked to rest, not attend day 2 of viewing Mugabe's body

They had always earlier said the late stateman’s wishes had included that Grace Mugabe be beside his coffin until his burial.

Robert Mugabe’s family including his wife, Grace (veiled,) sits and watches on as members of the public view the body of the former president. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

HARARE - Former President Robert Mugabe's family asked his wife to rest and not be beside his body as it lies in state for a second day.

They had always earlier said the late stateman’s wishes had included that Grace Mugabe be beside his coffin until his burial.

Thousands of people continue to pay their last respects to Mugabe who died in a Singapore hospital last week.

Mugabe’s family statement was clear on Thursday: wherever his remains were taken, his wife Grace would have to be there.

But she was given a break on Friday and was not present at the Rufaro Stadium where the remains lay in state.

Family spokesperson Leo Mugabe said the former president’s death has taken a toll on his wife.

“She’s only human and the toll that this has taken, the pressure, the stress and those sorts of things. We are asking her, as a family, to take rest.”

This development comes after the family confirmed earlier on Friday that Mugabe will be buried at the National Monument for Liberation Hero’s Acre in the capital.

WATCH: Robert Mugabe arrives home

MUGABE'S CLAN CHIEFS MADE FINAL DECISION ON WHERE HE'LL BE LAID TO REST

Mugabe’s family has denied claims that government forced them to agree to plans to bury the former president at the National Heroes Acre.

In a surprise turn of events, the family confirmed on Friday that the former president will be laid to rest at the national monument, as per government’s initial plan.

On Thursday, the family had said Mugabe would be given a private funeral, attended only by family and close friends.

This was the position of his family, as communicated by Leo Mugabe: “We are not witnessing the burial on Sunday.”

And this is their position on Friday: “Sunday we will go to Heroes Acre, where the government will do the normal function of burying a hero.”

It’s a dramatic U-turn. This as the family said the chiefs from Mugabe’s clan have made the final decision that he be buried at the Heroes Acre.

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