The body of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe arrived at Harare’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe international airport from Singapore on Wednesday morning, five days after he died in a hospital in the wealthy city state.
Mugabe who ruled the southern African nation for 37 years until he was ousted by his own army in November 2017, died in a Singapore hospital five days ago.
The body of former President Robert Mugabe was somberly welcomed in Harare by top officials, by the military elite, and by thousands of mourners
Crowds had gathered at the airport well before the scheduled arrival time, with some people wearing T-shirts bearing Mugabe’s face and others with Mnangagwa’s image, while music blared from loudspeakers.
Police motorbikes escorted the white Mercedes hearse carrying Mugabe’s body from Singapore Casket, a funeral parlour where he had been kept since his death.
A convoy of 4×4 vehicles with number plates bearing the letters “RG Mugabe” and the former leader’s signature were also on the runway. Mugabe’s wife Grace and Zimbabwean Vice President Kembo Mohadi were among those accompanying the body of the former leader on the plane.
The fight over where he will be buried is threatening to embarrass his successor as president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and deepen divisions in the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Mugabe came to power in 1980 as the first leader of post-independence Zimbabwe, vowed he would die in office. He didn’t.