World

Nephew says body of late leader Robert Mugabe likely to arrive in Zimbabwe this week

AFP-JIJI

The nephew of late Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said Sunday that a delegation is expected to leave Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the hero-turned-despot’s body from Singapore, where he died on Friday.

Mugabe, a guerilla leader who swept to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and ruled for 37 years, died in Singapore on Friday at the age of 95.

His health took a hit after he was ousted by the military in November 2017, ending his increasingly tyrannical rule. He had been traveling 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 said.

“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 is being finalized.

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 on Friday declared a period of “national mourning” but did not provide further details.

The government is expected to announce when Mugabe’s body will be returned to Zimbabwe and provide details of the funeral in coming days.