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Zimbabwe’s former President Mugabe to be buried in his village2 minutes read

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

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Zimbabwe's former President Mugabe to be buried in his village
The body of late president Robert Mugabe lies in state at the Mugabe's residency in Harare on September 12, 2019. 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 reporters.

Mugabe, whose autocratic rule ended in a military coup in 2017, died last week aged 95. His body was flown back from Singapore on Wednesday.

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. 

READ: Body of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives Harare

His tyrannical leadership and economic mismanagement forced millions to escape a country crippled by hyper-inflation and shortages of food, drugs and fuel.

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

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

But the family said traditional chiefs in his homestead in the Zvimba region should decide where he should be buried.

Some family members are still bitter over his ouster, and the role his former ally Mnangagwa played. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in 2017, in what many believed was an attempt to position his wife Grace to succeed him.

Mugabe was ousted by protesters and the military soon after.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, former Cuban leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe’s state funeral on Saturday in Harare.

READ: Zimbabwe’s ex-president, Robert Mugabe dies aged 95

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South Africa Unions Reject Government Plan to Review Pay

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The South African labour unions have rejected a government proposal to review planned increases for civil servants days before they were due to be implemented.


The Public Servants Association, which represents 230,000 government workers, says the state has asked to review the last leg of a three-year pay agreement because it couldn’t afford it.


The Public Servants Association says the timing of the proposal, a few days before the adjustments were due to be implemented, speaks of a government that regards public servants as an easy target to resolve its financial woes.


The Central Executive Committee of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s biggest labor federation, says if the proposal made its way into the budget speech it will be seen as a declaration of war.

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Business News

South Africa Raises $1.1 Billion Bailout for Ailing Airways

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South Africa has almost doubled its funding for the national airline to 16.4 billion rand ($1.1 billion), cash which will go towards supporting a restructuring plan for the almost insolvent carrier.


The bailout will be used to service and pay debt previously guaranteed by the state over the “medium term,” according to the country’s Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni.


This amount compares with 9.2 billion rand earmarked for South African Airways in October.


SAA has been a drain on the National Treasury for several years racking up losses of more than R32 billion over the past decade.
Late last year, the government placed the airline on a local form of bankruptcy protection, and administrators have set about reducing costs by closing routes and considering asset sale.
However, the Finance Minister has often stated his reluctance to support SAA while faced with bigger problems such as the $30 billion of debt owed by state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings.


In addition to Treasury funds, SAA was last month, given access to R3.5 billion from the state-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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South Africa to Establish $2 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund

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South Africa has announced that it will use money from the sale of broadband spectrum and mining royalties to establish a 30 billion-rand ($2 billion) sovereign wealth fund, according to the country’s Finance Minister,Tito Mboweni.


Its establishment was first mooted at least 10 years ago.
The proposed fund comes at a time when Africa’s most industrialised economy is struggling to contain rising debt amid sluggish economic growth and a budget deficit projected to widen to a near three-decade high of 6.8% in the coming fiscal year.


Mboweni says the legislative framework for the fund will be submitted to the parliament.


Funding will come from the government’s plans to sell broadband spectrum this year, along with royalties from petroleum, gas and mineral rights, as well as the sale of non-core assets, future surpluses and savings.


The government is also pressing ahead with plans to form a state bank that will operate as a retail financial institution premised on commercial principles, he said.


However, the Reserve Bank is yet to grant the proposed lender an operating license.

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