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Mugabe's body may return home next week: family

Sunday September 8 2019

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was finally ousted in November 2017. PHOTO | JEKESAI NJIKIZANA | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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Harare,

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 guerrilla 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.

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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.