Zimbabwe’s founding leader Robert Mugabe made his final journey back to the country Wednesday, his body flown into the capital amid the contradictions of his long, controversial rule.
Zimbabweans will be allowed to view the body of the former President, which will be lying in state.
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) September 11, 2019
Mugabe’s body will lie in state at a local stadium and Zimbabweans will be afforded the opportunity to pay tribute to him.
The body of Zimbabwe's founding father, Cde Robert Mugabe, which arrived in the country this afternoon, has arrived at his Blue Roof Residence in Borrowdale Brooke, Harare. pic.twitter.com/Pov0qVTGGh
— ZBC News Online (@ZBCNewsonline) September 11, 2019
Mugabe died five days ago at a hospital in Singapore. He ruled Zimbabwe for 37-years and was finally forced to step down by his army in 2017. Some Zimbabweans may have forgiven him, but others are still reflecting on the life he subjected them to.
Time to heal, forgive and move forward. The two have rested and what remains are their deeds. Rest in peace Ndabaningi Sithole and Robert Mugabe. pic.twitter.com/KEWfkB760g
— Wonesai W Sithole (@w_wonesai) September 11, 2019
Mugabe bowed to pressure and resigned on November 21, 2017, in a military-backed coup, ending an increasingly tyrannical rule that saw millions leave Zimbabwe to escape repression and economic ruin.
The coup had been in the making for months but Mugabe was blind “to reality at that time,” said Ibbo Mandaza, one of the intellectuals who served in Mugabe’s government after independence.
“Mugabe’s last years were years of extreme vulnerability,” said Mandaza, now head of a think tank, the Southern Africa Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust.
Shortly after tanks rolled into the streets of Harare in a show of force, one of Mugabe’s allies who sought shelter at the leader’s house, was former education and information minister Jonathan Moyo.
Moyo, who spent time with Mugabe in the post-coup turbulence, said the once-feared autocrat dramatically changed.
The body of National hero former President Robert Mugabe, today will be taken to lie in state at a Rufaro stadium Harare , where members of the public will be able to pay their respects. pic.twitter.com/KF7XmOif23
— Cde Bhanan’ana (@cdebhana) September 12, 2019
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.