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Mugabe's body heads for wake in home village

Mugabe died a week ago aged 95 in Singapore, nearly two years after he was ousted in a 2017 coup that ended nearly four decades of increasingly autocratic rule.

Military officials accompany late former President Robert Mugabe's body into the National Sports Stadium in Harare on 14 September 2019. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

ZIMBABWE - The remains of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe will be taken to his village for a wake on Monday, a family member said, as his final burial is prepared in about a month.

Mugabe died a week ago aged 95 in Singapore, nearly two years after he was ousted in a 2017 coup that ended nearly four decades of increasingly autocratic rule.

After a state funeral on Saturday in the capital Harare attended by African leaders, his body will go to his rural village of Kutama, 90 kilometres to the west, to allow villagers to pay tribute and bid farewell.

"He is going to come tomorrow," his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP on Sunday.

Leo Mugabe said the body will spend Monday night in a village area and was expected to be driven back to Harare on Tuesday.

"It will be taken for preservation. I am not sure where," he said.

Mugabe's final burial arrangements were mired in a dispute between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the family over where and when the former leader should be buried.

Eventually, the family agreed to his final burial at a national monument in Harare in about 30 days, after a new mausoleum is built for him.

Mugabe, a former liberation hero whose rule was marked by repression and economic chaos, left Zimbabwe deeply torn over his legacy as the country still struggles with high inflation and shortages of goods after decades of crisis.

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