UPDATE: Mugabe to be buried in his village next week – family

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Pall bearers carry the casket of late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as it arrives at his former Blue Roof residence in Harare on September 11, 2019. - The body of Zimbabwe's ex-president, Robert Mugabe, arrived home on September 11, 2019 for burial in a country divided over the legacy of a former liberation hero whose 37-year rule was marked by repression and economic ruin. (Photo by Zinyange Auntony / AFP) (Photo credit should read ZINYANGE AUNTONY/AFP/Getty Images)
Pall bearers carry the casket of late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as it arrives at his former Blue Roof residence in Harare on September 11, 2019. – The body of Zimbabwe’s ex-president, Robert Mugabe, arrived home on September 11, 2019 for burial in a country divided over the legacy of a former liberation hero whose 37-year rule was marked by repression and economic ruin. (Photo by Zinyange Auntony / AFP)

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe will be buried early next week in his village and not at a national monument for liberation heroes, his family said on Thursday.

The family of Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week, and Zimbabwe’s government have been at odds over whether he would be buried in his homestead in Kutama, northwest of Harare, or at the National Heroes Acre in the capital.

“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.., followed by a private burial – either Monday or Tuesday – no National Heroes Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Zimbabweans have been split over the death of a leader once hailed for ending the former British colony Rhodesia of white-minority rule but who later purged his foes in a brutal crackdown.

After his body arrived home, though, Mugabe’s final burial place became a point of dispute between his family and government.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the national monument.

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