Malema consoles Mugabe’s widow as Mliswa turned away

HARARE – Julius Malema travelled to Zimbabwe on Monday to pay his condolences to former president Robert Mugabe’s family.

Malema, leader of South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), did not speak to journalists at the Robert Mugabe International Airport and was whisked to Mugabe’s sprawling Borrowdale residence known as the ‘Blue Roof’.

Malema and three other members of the EFF, including spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, immediately went into a closed-door meeting with President Mugabe’s widow, Grace, and other family members.

Paying respects … EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi viewing Robert Mugabe’s body at the Mugabe residence on Monday while Simba Chikore, the former president’s son-in-law, looks on
Condolences … Julius Malema and members of the EFF consoling Mugabe’s family, including his eldest son Robert Junior (far right)

Earlier, the independent MP for Norton Temba Mliswa said he had gone to pay his respects to the Mugabes but was advised that the former first lady was not present at the residence.

Mugabe died in Singapore at the age of 95 on September 6.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revealed that Mugabe died from advanced prostrate cancer after treatment was discontinued due to old age.

The EFF held a memorial for Mugabe in Soweto on September 12 where it invited Mugabe’s exiled nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, and former minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

In a tribute, Malema said Mugabe was a “hero of the people” and had remained so “to the grave”.

“President Mugabe will be remembered as a hero because, even when he was in office, he never compromised fundamentals. Amongst those fundamentals was the ownership of the land. It was under him that the indigenous people of Zimbabwe were beginning to own strategic sectors of the economy,” Malema said.

Hon. Temba P. Mliswa@TembaMliswa

I went to go & pay my respects to the family of the late RGM this morning at “the Blue Roof”. Unfortunately a few minutes after producing my ID as requested I was informed that the former First Lady wasn’t in. Nonetheless, the family is in my thoughts & prayers.

Mugabe’s body is believed to be at the Blue Roof residence. The government and the family, after much wrangling, finally agreed that he would be buried at the National Heroes Acre in a mausoleum whose construction could take at least a month.

However, some chiefs from Mugabe’s rural home district of Zvimba, supported by some members of the family, are reportedly rowing back from that agreement and want a traditional burial for Mugabe at an as-yet undetermined location – likely to be his childhood village of Kutama.

Pupil and master … Julius Malema (L), then leader of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), being welcomed by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at State House in Harare, April 5, 2010 (REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo)
Zimbabwe visit … Julius Malema (in white shirt) is welcomed at the airport by Tendai Wenyika, a former Zanu PF youth league member.Source: Zimlive