Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s strongman former president and independence icon has died aged 95.
The President of Zimbabwe Emerson Mnangagwa has announced the passing of his predecessor Robert Mugabe this morning calling the fallen strongman former president an icon of liberation.
Mugabe died in Singapore where he has been receiving treatment at Gleneagles Hospital since April this year, aged 95.
Mugabe who was ousted from power in 2017 was Zimbabwe’s president for 37 years helping improve the lives of his black majority country until he later started oppressive repression of his opponents.
Mugabe was born in February 1924 in the British Colony of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
Mugabe embodied Africa’s struggle against colonialism in all ways.
Mugabe was born to a poor Shona family in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia.
Following an education at Kutama College and the university of Fort Harare, he worked as a school teacher in Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Ghana.
Angered that Southern Rhodesia was a colony of the British Empire and governed by its white minority, Mugabe embraced Marxism and joined African nationalist protests calling for an independent black state led by African natives.
After making anti government comments, he was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974.
On release, he fled to Mozambique where he established his leadership of ZANU and oversaw its role in the Rhodesian Bush war, fighting Ian Smith’s predominantly white government.
He took part in the negotiations brokered by the United Kingdom that resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement. The agreement ended the war and resulted in the 1980 general election.
Mugabe led ZANU-PF to victory in the elections becoming Prime Minister of the newly named Zimbabwe.
Mugabe’s administration expanded health care and education and adhered mainly to conservative economic policies.
But when the economy faltered, Mugabe lost his nerve implementing catastrophic land reform programmes.
The country slid into hyperinflation, isolation and political chaos.
In 2000, he seized land from white owners and in 2008, his militias used violence on his prominent critiques.
At one time he declared that only God could remove him from office.