‘A father to us’, Worshippers mourn Mugabe as a hero

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A group of worshippers kneel in prayer on the lawn of the late former President Robert Mugabe’s homestead in Kutama a village southeast of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

The huddled semi-circle of women, some in sky-blue capes, sing hymns and say a special prayer for the 95-year-old, who died on Friday, to rest in peace as he leaves a nation divided; with some mourning a liberator and father figure, others bitter that he clung to power and many bearing the scars of the brutality of his 37-year rule that ended almost two years ago.

In Kutama, a special mass was held on Sunday in honour of Mugabe, a seemingly devoted Catholic who regularly attended services at the rural parish until a few months before his death in Singapore where he was undergoing medical treatment.

At his family homestead, preparations are now under way for the arrival of Mugabe’s body later this week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his successor, declared the veteran leader a national hero to be mourned until his burial.

 

 

Zainab Sa’id