BY BLESSED MHLANGA/HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
TRADITIONAL leaders in Zvimba yesterday said they had pardoned those who removed former President Robert Mugabe from power through a military coup in November 2017 to foster national healing.
Speaking during a church service at the late Mugabe’s home in Zvimba, Chief Chisora Chikamba said it was important to let bygones be bygones.
“I want to thank Zanu PF, yes, there are things that happened, there are indeed bad apples, (but) yes, we forgive you,” he said.
Mugabe, who died in Singapore on September 6, was bitterly disappointed by his removal from power by his military men after 37 years of ruling the southern African country and his nephew Leo Mugabe last week told the media that the former
President, despite being 95 years old, had died from stress caused by the coup led by people he trusted.
Grace Mugabe’s relative Ephraim Ranga also preached peace amid simmering tensions.
He told mourners that reconciliation and forgiveness for past misdeeds was crucial.
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Highlighting that the late national hero in 1980 forgave Ian Smith and allowed the former Rhodesian Prime Minister to die peacefully in the new Zimbabwe, he said: “If you want to be forgiven, you should forgive others; count the number of people you forgave and then ask for forgiveness.”
Marred by controversy, Mugabe’s death continues to pen new scripts every day.
Helicopters which were supposed to transport his body back to his Blue Roof mansion in Harare had to return empty, owing to wrangling and last-minute changes. The body will now spend another night at his Zvimba home after a family stand-off delayed proceedings.
Leo could not speak on the delays or change of programme, saying he had not been briefed, but irate mourners deserted the Mugabe homestead, leaving a lot of empty chairs ahead of an evening service.
“I am yet to be briefed by the family, but another day has been added, so the body will leave tomorrow,” he said.
Insiders said former First Lady Grace and Mugabe clan members were still haggling over the former President’s burial place, raising speculation that only a dummy coffin could be on display while Mugabe’s body is buried elsewhere.
Chief Zvimba, however, dispelled the talk, saying Mugabe’s body will be placed at the apex of the national shrine so that it can be seen from all angles.
Meanwhile, clashes over T-shirts continued at Mugabe’s rural home with a fight breaking out in the morning when a youth wearing Zanu PF regalia with Mnangagwa’s face was beaten before being ejected. Party regalia with Mugabe’s face was the only clothing safe to wear.