Robert Mugabe Dies At 95: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Former Zimbabwe Strongman

Harare:Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, died on Friday at the age of 95, at a hospital in Singapore. Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe for nearly four decades since independence from Britain. The country’s incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Twitter. “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe.

“Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he added.

The former leader’s family confirmed to the BBC that Mugabe died on Friday morning at a hospital in Singapore where he was admitted due to prolonged illness. Reports say he was hospitalized since April this year.

Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924, in what was then Rhodesia.

Known as “the crocodile”, Mugabewon Zimbabwe’s first election after independence from British rule, becoming Prime Minister in 1980. He abolished the office in 1987, becoming President instead.

Mugabe had an ungainly tenure after dislodging the white minority rule in 1980. During his tenure, the economic problems, rights abuses, discontent among citizens rose following which a military intervention, impeachment proceedings by the parliament and massive street protests led to his ouster.

Mugabe’s early years were praised for broadening access to health and education for the black majority, the BBC reported.