FORMER Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe was buried in his rural village of Kutama on Saturday.
The Mugabe family gathered in his rural homestead, three weeks after his death, to attend a much-awaited burial ceremony.
Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on 6 September, aged 95.
Robert Mugabe remains were laid to rest in the courtyard of his home in the district of Zvimba, about 90km west of Harare.
Hundreds of mourners gathered for the low-key event, which was initially intended to be a private family ceremony.
Many wore white Mugabe-emblazoned T-shirts with the slogans “founding father”, “liberator” and “torch bearer”.
Some were singing and dancing, while others sat quietly under two white tents set up for the occasion.
Mugabe’s widow Grace and his kids accompanied the casket – draped in Zimbabwe’s flag.
“White flower installations spelt out the words “dad” and “baba”.
“Our hearts are bleeding because we have lost our father,” said the priest, standing next to a portrait of Mugabe.
“This is a man who made use of the gifts he was given by God.
“This man was an asset, he was not a liability.”
No senior government officials were among the mourners.
The family opted to bury Mugabe in Kutama after weeks of wrangling with the government, who wanted the body to rest at National Heroes Acre.
“What we’ve done is his wish,” said Grace’s older sister Shuvai Gumbochuma, addressing mourners.
“He didn’t want to be buried at the heroes acre.
“He said with his own mouth that he didn’t want to be buried at the heroes acre.”
The ruling Zanu-PF described the family’s decision as “most unfortunate”.
“All patriotic Zimbabweans were shocked to learn that the remains of the former president had been surreptitiously taken yesterday to Zvimba for a private burial,” said spokesman Simon Khaya-Moyo in a statement on Friday.