Following the chaos on Thursday that led to scores of people being injured as they clamoured to view his body as it was lying in state, president Robert Mugabe received a fairly mild send-off.
This is according to images of Harare’s National Sports Stadium, which was surprisingly empty despite its 60,000-capacity. That is similar to Ellis Park Stadium’s capacity, which sits at 62,567 and more than Moses Mabhida, Cape Town Stadium and Kings Park Stadium, which all have a capacity of less than 60,000.
Am EMPTY STADIUM for the dead DICTATOR Robert Mugabe. Beautiful image. https://t.co/Q7o8Gxn1AW
— Nyarai Humba (@NyaraiHumba) September 15, 2019
The lack of bums in seats at the stadium prompted people to question where his devoted following was during the ceremony.
— Maulid Billie Ali, HSC (KOT SECRETARY GENERAL) (@BILLIE_ISIOLO) September 14, 2019
Let me get this correct. The stadium where the funeral service of the whole "Hero and a Pan Africanist" is being held is EMPTY? Where are the people who have been voting for Mugabe for 37 years? #MugabeFuneral pic.twitter.com/AUU3SkuAI9
— Princy Mthombeni (@Princymthombeni) September 14, 2019
Others believe this is a reflection of how the people of Zimbabwe truly feel about the late elder statesman, while some believe it means nothing.
A true hero will never be rejected by his own people. The stadium was close to empty, I have been saying, Mugabe was not hero to the ordinary Zimbabweans. You cannot change that. The lack of attendance of ordinary citizens is clear proof.#MugabeFuneral
— Tata kaPretty Boy (@BafoWeEFF) September 14, 2019
The empty stadium at Mugabe's funeral said more than the fake praise heaped on Mugabe. The ANC will take note however and do the necessary needed to fill the stadiums when one of their heroes die.
— Kishore Doodnath (@Kdpointman) September 15, 2019
it's so sad how the Zimbabwean National Stadium was close empty y/dy at Mugabe Funeral service????????????????
— Mashi le Dinotshi (@GaoneJuju) September 15, 2019
Mugabe's final humiliation — buried in a mostly empty stadium, shunned by his own people. pic.twitter.com/efOYL3jUfX
— Adrian Blomfield (@adrianblomfield) September 14, 2019
BBC You tell us about many people who were not happy about Robert Mugabe ,s leadership. Is your statistics based on the empty stadium or you counted all the Zimbabweans who dont like Mugabe?You are telling us what your slave master want to hear.We are not new to Politics
— Rodney (@Rodney30805575) September 15, 2019
An almost empty stadium for Mugabe funeral is a stark reminder that majority of Zimbabweans are not mourning the death of their cruel dictator.
The parade of "dignitaries" also a glaring contrast between the poverty of the African people & the western opulence of their leaders.
— Don Fraser (@donscot23) September 14, 2019
Why was the National Sports Stadium empty during the Mugabe send off?
How is it possible for some many African leaders to attend yet few Zimbabweans snubbed the event?,
Is there any easy explanation? pic.twitter.com/yki7XKDl4Q
— Thabisa Siban2da (@SibandaSibbs) September 14, 2019
Mugabe died in a clinic in Singapore a week ago and was meant to be buried by his family, within about 30 days, at the National Heroes Acre after government concludes the construction of a monument in his honour.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)