Former Zim first lady's grave 'abandoned' as Mugabes 'snub heroes day celebrations' – report

Zimbabwean former president Robert Mugabe's late wife Sally and his sister Sabina's graves were reportedly "abandoned" after "no single relative appeared to have turned up to visit them" on Monday during the country's Heroes Day celebrations. 

The two graves, according to New Zimbabwe. com, used to be the "centre of attraction" during the annual National Heroes' Day commemorations presided over by the now ousted leader.

Thousands of Zimbabweans gathered at the country's national shrine the Heroes Acre in Harare on Monday, as they celebrated the men and women who fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe, SABC reported.

The all-important day for the southern African country was the first not to be presided over by Mugabe, and took place after Zimbabwe's historic 2018 elections. 

The former ruler's absence at the event was visibly seen, as the grave of his late wife Sally - who died in 1992 - was among the deserted ones, New said. 

Disputed election

In previous years, Sally and Sabina's graves were at the centre of the country's Heroes Day commemoration as the Mugabes would take time to visit and lay huge bouquets of flowers while his aides cheered.

It remained unclear whether the Mugabes would chose a different day to honour their loved ones as the former leader had made it clear that he was unhappy with the country's new leadership.

According to AFP, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was the main speaker at this year's commemorations.

Mnangagwa called on the country to move on from its disputed election, despite his victory being challenged in court over alleged fraud and his inauguration delayed.

"It's now time to put the election period behind us and embrace the future," the president-elect said.

"The task facing us today is a great one," he added.

"We should never be deterred by temporary setbacks and regrettable events we have encountered."

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