Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono who was also former President Robert Mugabe’s personal banker says any talk of disagreements or friction between Mugabe’s family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is fake news.
Gono who said he was speaking as someone who had been involved with the family side of issues from last Saturday to this morning and authorised to say what he was saying, the burial ceremony of Mugabe at the national Heroes’ Acre on Sunday was a national event and not a private affair.
“It’s a national event. You can quote me. If there is going to be any private event, it will take place after the public send-off that will take place at the national shrine,” he said.
“The family would like the send-off to be attended by all who can and so desire, without limitation or invitation cards as has been played out in some social media outlets.
“RG was not, and cannot be a private affair. He was not a village-boy. The funeral is not and cannot be a Zvimba affair alone, cannot be a Gushungo event alone, cannot and should not be a ZANU (PF) or Government affairs alone; is not and cannot be a Mugabe family event alone, is not even a Zimbabwean event alone.
“It is an inclusive, National and international event of sorrow, farewell and celebration.”
Gono said Mugabe was “bigger than any box we may want to confine him to and so going to the National Shrine, the Heroes Acre is not an option: it is something agreed upon by all parties to the matter comprising of the former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe and immediate family and relatives, the Mugabe extended family, the Zvimba Chiefs and their families, the Gushungo Clan, the Marufu clan, the Sekuru’s from both sides, friends and relatives.
“All are very grateful to H.E. President ED Mnangagwa, ZANU (PF) and all other political parties, Government and all people of Zimbabwe and beyond for honouring the Legend in the manner unfolding.
“Any talk of disagreements or friction between families or between the late heroes’ immediate or extended family and President ED Mnangagwa and/or Government of Zimbabwe is FAKE NEWS.
“The proceedings will go on in a United and well-coordinated manner, with each party to the arrangements playing their role as defined by the understandings reached by the Government and the family.”
Mugabe’s actual burial will, however, be delayed as there are plans to build a mausoleum which might take some time.
Mnangagwa confirmed this today after bidding visiting Equatorial Guinea leader Theodore Obiang Nguema who had come to pay his condolences that there would be no burial on Sunday.
“We are having a memorial service tomorrow at the National Sports Stadium. We are building a mausoleum for our founding father on top of the hill at Heroes Acre, it will not be finished. So we will only bury him after we have completed the construction of the mausoleum,” he said without hinting on when that would be.