Zimbabwean liberation hero burial snubs Mugabe

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2010 11:18 AM
Zimbabwean liberation hero burial snubs Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe's party says it has backed down in a clash with the family of a veteran Zimbabwe politician and independence war fighter.

The family of Welshman Mabhena refused to allow him to be buried at a national shrine for fallen guerrillas and politicians.

A top ranking official in Mugabe's party said Saturday it "respects the wishes" of the family, state radio reported.

Mabhena, who died Tuesday at the age of 86, was declared a "national hero" by Mugabe to be buried at the shrine. In a major snub to Mugabe, he was interred at a private cemetery Saturday.

Family spokesman Norman Mabhena told reporters the politician was persecuted for criticizing Mugabe's loyalists for corruption and had made it clear "he would not want to be buried alongside thieves and crooks."