Farirai Machivenyika–Senior Reporter
THE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Frederick Shava, will represent President Mnangagwa at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom on Monday next week.
The funeral, expected to be the biggest gathering of royalty and politicians in a long time, will be held at Westminster Abbey in London and will be attended by more than 500 Heads of State and dignitaries from across the globe.
The Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), Mr George Charamba, confirmed to New Ziana that Minister Shava would represent the President who will not be able to attend as he will be leaving for the United Nations General Assembly on the day of the funeral.
“The Foreign Minister is attending for the President, who is scheduled to leave for the UN General Assembly on the day,” said Mr Charamba who is also Presidential spokesperson.
The British Embassy in Zimbabwe had earlier yesterday also confirmed the invitation of President Mnangagwa while dismissing a fake letter circulating on social media purportedly emanating from Buckingham Palace denying the President an invitation to the funeral.
“President Mnangagwa has been invited to attend the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on Monday,” the Embassy said in a statement.
The fake letter falsely claimed that President Mnangagwa had been denied the invitation due to travel restrictions placed on him when that is not the case.
President Mnangagwa sent a condolence message to the Royal Family, the British people, and the Commonwealth following Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday last week.
Queen Elizabeth II, who was 96 at the time of her death, was the longest-serving British monarch whose reign spanned 70 years.
Her first born son, King Charles III, succeeded her following her death.