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Zanu-PF unfazed by Mugabe's heroes acre threats

On Friday 9 August, The Zimbabwe Independent reported that former President Robert Mugabe has told his family members that he does not want to be buried at Heroes Acre. He also apparently said he does not want the current Zanu-PF government to preside over his funeral. Mugabe is currently ill and receiving treatment in Singapore where's he's been for months.

Mugabe was pushed out of power in November 2017 by a combination of the military and nationwide demonstrations and has never forgiven his erstwhile comrades in Zanu-PF and government for the betrayal, chief among them, his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa whom he had sacked as Vice President two weeks earlier.

The man who announced the military takeover, now Foreign Affairs Minister and Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo, said Mugabe was within his rights to choose where he wanted to be laid to rest.

"It's his right. I can't comment," Moyo said when asked on the sidelines of the 39th Heroes Day celebrations on Monday.

War veterans secretary general and Deputy Defence Minister Victor Matemadanda said Mugabe would be in a better position to answer questions on his decision.

"You can go and ask him. Why he does not want to buried here," he told reporters.

Matemadanda also serves as Zanu-PF national political commissar and was at the forefront of attacking Mugabe in his last days in power.

The Zanu-PF Youth League deputy secretary Lewis Matutu said the ruling party will not lose sleep over Mugabe's decision indicating the former President had denied numerous other people who deserved the status.

"That has got nothing to do with us and Mugabe is just an individual. Perhaps in my view, it is because he understands that he barred a lot of deserving heroes to be buried at this shrine.

"Talk of comrade Chinx (Dickson Chingaira) who amongst many other war veterans deserved to be laid to rest here, are lying elsewhere. I hope that the leadership will consider and perhaps rebury that fellow comrade who was working dearly for his country," said Matutu.

"So, it's not an issue that the former President says he does not want to be buried here. Neither is there anyone who is willing to see him buried here against his will."

Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa said Mugabe is correct to deny himself the right to have his remains interred at the National Heroes acre because he denied may deserving heroes the opportunity to lie there.

Said Mliswa, "I'm sure after taking Heroes Acre as his personal property, RGM's conscience is now prickling him. No wonder he is realised he doesn't have to be buried there. Many true heroes and heroines were unreasonably denied the honour due to personal grievances."

Zanu-PF apologist Weldon Matambo said nothing would be amiss if President Mugabe chose to be buried at a private place.

"Were such a decision to be made, it would be nothing out of the ordinary given that the former President himself set the rules on options and discretions available to families of national heroes regarding places of interment. Both in terms of rules and in practice, there is a whole list of heroes who chose private burials in place of the Acre, including heroes who passed on under the First Republic.

"Should such a decision come to pass, it would not lessen the President of the First Republic by way of his worth in the pantheon of National Heroes. Of course, at a very private level, it would trigger a debate on his posthumous relations with his first wife who lies at the Acre," said Matambo.

Pedzisai Ruhanya said, "Mugabe can be buried where ever he wants when he dies. Refusing to be buried at Heroes Acre doesn't bother most of us. He is the architect of this rot together with ED and the rest of these scumbags. In fact, that Heroes Acre nonsense should be shut down. We bury criminals there."

Siphosami Malunga said, "If there is anyone who deserves to be buried at Heroes Acre, it is Robert Mugabe! He built that monstrosity at great cost to the public, then privatised it for Zanu-PF, routinely used it as megaphone for instilling fear, pouring scorn on everyone else pretending it was a monument for all liberation comrades when it was not. Recall he refused to bury Lookout, Ndabaningi & more deserving heroes there because they were not Zanu-PF, scoffing that they shd find their own hill. He HAS to be buried there, even AGAINST his will."

Mugabe, 95, is currently battling for his life in a Singaporean hospital where he has been admitted since April.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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