Zimbabwe: Sabina Mugabe’s hero status raises eyebrows

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Zimbabwe’s president Mugabe on Sunday used the burial of his sister as a platform to bolster his previous stand that “Western world must go to hell and forget that they can dictate what the people of Zimbabwe must do”.

Mugabe, 86, was burying his sister Sabina who died Thursday after an
undisclosed long illness. But eyebrows were raised in the capital after the president declared Sabina as national heroine within hours of her death.

Mugabe’s sister was among a number of senior Zanu-PF politicians who
were directly implicated in the violent farm invasions that began in 2000.

Witnesses say that in November 2000 she appeared at a farm in Norton, about 20 miles outside the capital, belonging to the Ford family where was said to have told Terry Ford to vacate his property as she was taking it over.

Ford resisted the takeover and was found dead in March 2002. His
neighbours said his corpse had been tied to a tree and he had been severely tortured before being killed with a shot to the head.

Sabina who retired from frontline politics, citing ill health, before the
last election was buried at Hero’s Acre, a shrine dedicated to those who
fought in the 1970s war against white minority rule.

Zanu PF’s coalition partners, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) top leadership boycotted the burial saying “they had not been consulted over the national hero status”.

Mugabe said her sister’s record speaks for itself and no-one can take it from her as she was a politician in her own right.

In a televised burial Mugabe said her sister was “a humble and a unifying force who encouraged women to work hard so as to improve their lives through self help projects”.

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