The late former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is at the centre of a tug of war between members of his family and the government over his final burial place.

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While the government wants the liberation hero to be buried among other heroes of the country's liberation struggles at the National Heroes Acre in Katuma, the family wants him buried at a private ceremony in Katuma.

The family expressed shock at what it said were plans to leave it out of the burial arrangements.

"His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night... followed by a private burial - either Monday or Tuesday - no National Heroes' Acre [the national monument for liberation heroes]. That's the decision of the whole family," Robert Mugabe's nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Robert Mugabe lost his battle with an unknown illness last week at 95 while undergoing treatment in Singapore.

His body arrived in the capital Harare on Wednesday.

The people of Zimbabwe have been, by and large, been conflicted about how to remember their former president who liberated their country but later started using strong-arm tactics to rule.

His policies set Zimbabwe on a path of economic collapse and isolation by the west.

No definite date of burial has been given by the family only that it shall happen 'sometime next week.'