HOME Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Cain Mathema is expected to head the government delegation to Zvimba for the burial of the late icon Robert Mugabe, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.
This comes on the backdrop of reports that President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is expected to land in the country Friday night from the UN General Assembly will not attend the burial of his mentor.
Mnangagwa is not attending the burial of the man who was his comrade, mentor and friend for 52 years.
Mnangagwa ousted his long time leader from power after the military intervention in November 2017. Mugabe had ejected Mnangagwa from his government when factionalism in the ruling Zanu PF reached unprecedented levels.
Mugabe, in a move aimed at elevating his wife Grace, fired the then vice president from his government and this led to the intervention of the military forcing the veteran leader to resign as president of the country.
After Mugabe was ousted, Mnangagwa reports say, continued to look up to Mugabe as his role model. However, the G40 elements who had coalesced around the then first lady and now scattered around the world in self-exile for fear of persecution say Mugabe wanted Mnangagwa to apologise.
Upon Mugabe’s death Mnangagwa and his government assisted in the repatriation of the veteran leader’s body as well as in the provision of services befitting a hero’s funeral.
“Government is sending a delegation led by home affairs minister (Mathema) because the president will not attend the burial ceremony,” said the source.
Mathema is expected to read a speech on behalf of Mnangagwa at the burial which is scheduled for Saturday if things go according to plan.
Mugabe who died on September 6 was declared a national hero and was set to be buried in a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre in the capital.
The family came to the conclusion of burying him at his rural home amid reports his body was no longer fit to be kept longer with no burial in sight.
Speaking to the Zim Morning Post, Leo Mugabe indicated that Mugabe might be buried Saturday.
“The burial is scheduled for this Saturday if all goes well, if not, it will be on Sunday,” Mugabe said.