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Robert Mugabe’s body to lie in state, resting place to be announced by family

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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.

Mugabe’s body will lie in state at a local stadium and Zimbabweans will be afforded the opportunity to pay tribute to him.

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.

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.

 

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