Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe ex-president, dies aged 95

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe ex-president, dies aged 95

Robert Mugabe, wearing a bright red scarf and sunglasses, raises a fistPicture copyright
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Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence chief, has died aged 95.

His household confirmed his demise to the BBC. Mr Mugabe had been receiving remedy in a hospital in Singapore since April.

He was ousted in a navy coup in 2017 after 37 years in energy.

Mr Mugabe’s early years had been praised for broadening entry to well being and schooling for the black majority – however his later years had been marked by rights abuses and corruption.

He received Zimbabwe’s first election after it secured independence from the UK, changing into prime minister in 1980.

He abolished the workplace in 1987, changing into president as a substitute.

His successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, expressed his “utmost unhappiness”, calling Mr Mugabe “an icon of liberation”.

Mr Mnangagwa had been Mr Mugabe’s deputy earlier than changing him.

Who was Robert Mugabe?

Mr Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 in what was then Rhodesia – a British colony, run by its white minority.

He was imprisoned for greater than a decade with out trial after criticising the federal government of Rhodesia in 1964.

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Media captionMugabe: From warfare hero to resignation

In 1973, whereas nonetheless in jail, he was chosen as president of the Zimbabwe African Nationwide Union (Zanu), of which he was a founding member.

As soon as launched, he headed to Mozambique, from the place he directed guerrilla raids into Rhodesia. However he was additionally seen as a talented negotiator.

Political agreements to finish the disaster resulted within the new impartial Republic of Zimbabwe.

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Media captionZimbabwe’s week of upheaval that noticed Mugabe ousted

Along with his excessive profile within the independence motion, Mr Mugabe secured an awesome victory within the republic’s first election.

However over his many years in energy, worldwide perceptions soured, with an growing variety of critics portraying Mr Mugabe as a type of dictator.

In 2000, going through severe political opposition for the primary time, he seized white-owned farms to resettle black farmers, inflicting financial disruption however boosting his reputation amongst supporters.

Across the similar time, pro-Mugabe militias used violence to affect political outcomes. In 2008, when he misplaced the primary spherical of the presidential election, assaults on the opposition resulted in his rival pulling out of the competition.

He famously declared that solely god may take away him from workplace.

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Mr Mugabe’s downfall got here after suspicions that his spouse Grace would possibly succeed him

He was compelled into sharing energy in 2009 amid financial collapse, putting in rival Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

However in 2017, amid issues that he was grooming his spouse Grace as his successor, the military – his long-time ally – turned in opposition to the president and compelled him to step down.

What has the response been?

Deputy Info Minister Power Mutodi, of Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF get together, advised the BBC the get together was “very a lot saddened” by his demise.

“As a authorities, we’re very a lot with the members of the family of the Mugabe household,” he stated.

“He was a principled man: he couldn’t change simply over his beliefs. He is a person who believed himself, he is a person who believed in what he did and he’s a person who was very assertive in no matter he stated.

“This was an excellent man.”

Not everybody agreed, nevertheless.

Zimbabwean Senator David Coltart, who was as soon as labelled “an enemy of the state” by Mr Mugabe, stated his legacy was marred by his adherence to violence as a political device.

“He was all the time dedicated to violence, going all the way in which again to the 1960s… he was no Martin Luther King,” he advised the BBC World Service. “He by no means modified in that regard.”

However he acknowledged that there was one other facet to Robert Mugabe – “a person who certainly had an awesome ardour for schooling – and I believe he mellowed in his later years.

“There’s a whole lot of affection in the direction of him, as a result of we should always remember that he was the particular person primarily accountable for ending oppressive white minority rule.”

The federal government of neighbouring South Africa tweeted its condolences, labelling Mr Mugabe “a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter”.

The BBC’s Shingai Nyoka, within the capital Harare, stated Mr Mugabe was prone to be remembered for his early achievements.

In his later years, folks had known as him all types of names, however now might be the time when Zimbabweans will suppose again to his 37 years in energy, she stated.

There is a saying right here – that whoever dies turns into a hero, and we’re prone to see that now, our correspondent provides.

Robert Mugabe – key dates

1924: Born. Later trains as a instructor

1964: Imprisoned by Rhodesian authorities

1980: Wins post-independence elections

1996: Marries Grace Marufu

2000: Loses referendum – pro-Mugabe militias invade white-owned farms and assault opposition supporters

2008: Comes second in first spherical of elections to Tsvangirai, who pulls out of run-off following nationwide assaults on his supporters

2009: Amid financial collapse, swears in Tsvangirai as prime minister, who serves in uneasy authorities of nationwide unity for 4 years

2017: Sacks long-time ally Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, paving the way in which for his spouse Grace to succeed him

November 2017: Military intervenes and forces him to step down

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