Robert Mugabe's body being flown home from Singapore

Robert Mugabe mural Harare Zimbabwe

A hearse carrying Mr Mugabe's body left a Singapore funeral parlour, accompanied by police motorbikes, bound for the airport on Wednesday morning.

Mugabe died on Friday.

After that, the body will be taken to Mugabe's rural home, Leo Mugabe said.

The body of Zimbabwe's ex-president Robert Mugabe arrives by plane in Harare.

Mugabe, one of the last "Big Men" of African politics who ruled the southern African nation for 37 years until he was removed by his own army in November 2017, died in a Singapore hospital last Friday.

A plane carrying the former leader and the visiting delegation departed shortly afterwards, his nephew Adam Molai told AFP.

Zimbabweans have been divided over how to mourn a former leader once hailed as a liberation hero but who later brutally repressed his opponents.

He was initially praised for ridding the former British colony Rhodesia of white minority rule, but later used repression and fear to govern until he was finally ousted.

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

It had always been expected that Mugabe would be buried at Heroes' Acre, a monumental burial place reserved for top officials of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party who contributed to ending white colonial rule.

The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared him a "national hero" for his role in helping Zimbabwe gain independence, and a grave has been reserved at Heroes' Acre, a shrine in Harare for all those who fought against colonial rule.

Yet Harare residents appeared largely unconcerned, with shops remaining open and people going about their daily errands.

He had dominated Zimbabwean politics for nearly four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup.

A government minister said on Tuesday the burial was still planned for Sunday, after a state funeral on Saturday.

Where and when the former strongman will be buried has not been announced, as a result of a disagreement between the government and Mugabe's wife and other family members. The chiefs have not told us where he will be buried, so it is not clear yet.

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