President Mnangagwa does not attend burials of national heroes whose families opt for private burials to allow them privacy and control, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba has said.
The clarification follows social and mainstream media speculation on whether or not President Mnangagwa would attend the burial of national hero Dumiso Dabengwa at his rural home in Ntabazinduna today as per the request of his family.
Other people have even gone to the extent of describing the request as a snub.
Mr Charamba said the policy is that when someone has been declared a national and the family requests private burial, the President should give that family some space.
“You know our policy, if a national hero’s family accepts the designation of a hero as national, but opts for private burial, immediately, the State President cannot participate directly except through delegated authority,” said Mr Charamba, who is also Deputy Chief Secretary (Presidential Communications).
“The moment the President gets to that (attending the funeral), it means we takeover; so that breaches the privacy and the control of the family.
“You notice all those who opted to be buried away from the (National) Heroes’ Acre, the President doesn’t go, and I say, this for the purposes of upholding the privacy preferred by the family and the control preferred by the family.” Several national heroes have been buried away from the revered shrine at the request of their families.
The most recent national heroes that were not buried at the national shrine at their families’ request were music maestro Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and academic, Professor Phineas Mogorosi Makhurane.
President Mnangagwa didn’t attend both burials.