Relatives and government officials of Late Robert Mugabe flew out of Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the body of ex-president Robert Mugabe from Singapore where he died last week.
Mugabe, ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was ousted in 2017, died on Friday, aged 95.
Mugabe’s health deteriorated after he was toppled by the military and former loyalists in November 2017, ending an increasingly tyrannical rule that sent the economy into ruin.
A charter flight left Harare at nine am (0700 GMT) on Monday with family and senior party members and was expected to return with Mugabe’s body on Wednesday at 1300 GMT, the nephew and family spokesman Leo Mugabe told AFP.
Leo Mugabe said although he was devastated at his uncle’s death, he believed he was “rested” after the coup in November 2017 when his former trusted lieutenants turned against him.
“When he was 93, 94, he was able to walk, but the speed with which he deteriorated after the coup is just incredible, and I can imagine what was going through him and it’s why I’m saying he has rested,” he said.
“It was sudden, it was just like revolution overnight, he could not believe that those he trusted most turned against him, people that he depended upon turned against him.”
Although he sent his daughter to represent him at the inauguration of his former ally and successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe suggested his uncle never healed.
“I don’t quite think that healing process ended, it ate into him to such an extent that God just said he must rest… I think we must just celebrate his life,” he said.
Zimbabweans still struggle daily to access basic services and supplies, leaving many divided over how to mourn a former leader once hailed as a liberation hero but who later brutally repressed his opponents.