After weeks of delays Zimbabwe’s former ruler Robert Mugabe was finally buried over the weekend, closing a battle between the state and his family over the fate of his remains.
Mugabe was buried at the weekend in a low-key private ceremony at his natal village.
But the decision to finally bury him at a private rural home amid tight security came after a battle played out for weeks between Mugabe’s family, local traditional chiefs and the government.
Mugabe, who died aged 95 at a Singapore hospital on September 6, was laid to rest 22 days later in a concrete cast grave in the courtyard of his rural Kutama home, 90 kilometres (55 miles) west of the capital Harare.
Inside the grave, the coffin was placed in a container and then covered with a maroon lid. At its head, “R.G. Mugabe” was inscribed on a yellow plate.
Heavy rectangular blocks matching the shape of the grave were piled on top of the coffin, an afp photographer saw.
The original coffin, in which Mugabe’s remains were flown from Singapore, was changed, said family spokesman Leo Mugabe, the former president’s nephew.
“We wanted a tamper-proof casket because of (the fear of) rituals,” he told the Zimbabwe television network last week.
Mugabe had told his wife to guard his body once he died for fear it could be used by his opponents for ritualistic purposes, he added.