Robert Mugabe will have private burial at national Heroes' Acre
Last week's death of former former Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe at the age of ninety five presented his country with a problem if from the worst problem with which Mugabe presented Zimbabwe during he's later decades of deranged misrule. How does one commemorate the passing of a figure who was both hero and villain in Mugabe's case indeed both with the founder and destroyer of his nation after an amount of agonizing it has now been decided that Mugabe will be interred in the National Heroes Acre in Harare Laura a public memorial ceremony will be held on Sunday one joined in the studio with more on this bond monocle twenty regular Georgina Godwin Georgina as our listeners are probably aware you are yourself Zimbabwean and I remember we spoke at the time of Mugabe's removal by coup data at how we had that atwells that he was no longer enough and what an I guess a big mental adjustment that was for generations of Zimbabweans. How are we is it adjusting to the fact that he's no longer here at all. You know I think people feel slightly cheated in a way that he went out really with a bit of a whimper not a bang that we and indeed he probably expected and he's no longer there but I gather that in his last few months. He wasn't all there mentally anyway. If you look at the photograph few months well I I mean from when he started wearing you know dribbles and chuck suits but and obviously as you point out his his last years were were he was in the grip of definitely something probably dementia but for him to be dead is something that's quite odd because what you're seeing in Zimbabwe's as you alluded to is people wanting still to hate him but also really wanting to acknowledge the role that he played in in in the formations the country and say so there's quite a lot of them big dichotomy between how people feel because us as I think we discussed at the time if Mugabe is say had sort of cheerfully stepped down from office circa the late eighties and sort of idled into a retirement of giving elections and writing books he would be regarded as one of the twentieth century's heroic figures wouldn't they completely and utterly and he would have got a hero's funeral. Oh hang on the funeral which does prompt the question though that who who turns up for Mugabe's Hero's funeral thousands of people have been attending the lying in state. At referrers stadium in Harari who still is Mugabe's constituency well at the formal proceedings. You'll have a lot of heads of state state. I think Cyril Ramaphosa is coming from South Africa and various other people from from around the continent impacts further afield but in terms of ordinary people what generally happens in in in situations like this is that people have Boston and their promised food and those are the two things that people have that they don't have any fuel in Zimbabwe so they wouldn't be able to get there by themselves. They don't have the money money for bus fare and they're desperate to eat so if you promise people all of that they will turn up much. I mean I'm sympathetic to an extent extent or to this extent with the current Zimbabwean government. You have to acknowledge his passing some how you have to do something if not not what is being done what other suggestions have people made there was an argument of course to whether he should be buried in National Heroes Acre. But where else would you put him well. He is family. It appeared wanted him buried in his home area of Qatar which is where he comes from and I think would have been one way around it but it appears that the government was really pushing to have him in heroes. Acre which apparently he had not wanted himself. There was another really interesting piece of not not legislation but something else he put in his will. I think which was that his wife Grace Mugabe was to stay with the casket at all times until he was buried therefore what he's doing doing that is guaranteeing her starring role in his final Hurrah. Do you get the sense that the current government and we should remind ourselves that the current President Emmerson Mnangagwa was for many years Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe's kind of conciliatory if you will are they trying to reanimate the myth of Mugabe the liberator to to their own ends. I think that that would certainly serve a purpose that the end but I mean at the same time time. Mugabe's very useful is somebody that you can up lay all the blame on and say look it wasn't us it was the previous guy where clean we're going forward and of course that's what the what Managua A and his cronies would like us to think that this is a completely new dispensation. It really isn't make no mistake.