September 11, 2019 / 12:50 AM / 11 days ago

Mugabe's body leaves Singapore for burial in Zimbabwe

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The body of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was en route from Singapore to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, five days after he died in hospital in the city-state, according to an event schedule issued by his embassy and flight data.

Mugabe’s body was due to leave Singapore at 8:50 a.m. (0040 GMT), the programme of events showed.

A private jet departed from Singapore’s international airport in the direction of southern Africa on Wednesday morning, according to flightradar24.com, a plane tracking website.

Earlier, a police motorcade escorted vehicles to the airport from the Singapore Casket, a funeral parlour where Mugabe’s body was being held.

Mugabe’s body was expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on Wednesday at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), a family member told Reuters on Sunday. A spokesman for the Mugabe family could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mugabe died on Friday aged 95 in Singapore, where he had long received medical treatment. He had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup.

Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and ruthlessly crushing his opponents.

Mugabe’s family is pushing back against the government’s plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in the Zimbabwe capital Harare and wants him to be interred in his home village, relatives have told Reuters.

Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Michael Perry and Robert Birsel

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