Robert Mugabe died aged 95

Robert Mugabe (95), the first president of Zimbabwe since its independence, had died, BBC reports

Source: Tanjug
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Foto: Tanjug/AP, file
Foto: Tanjug/AP, file

His death was confirmed by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who referred to Mugabe as "liberation icon".

“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe,” a post on Mnangagwa’s official presidential Twitter account said, Reuters reports.

Former Zimbabwean President Mugabe died in Singapore, where he has often received medical treatment in recent years, Reuters carries, referring to an unnamed source.

Mugabe was the leader of liberation movement of Zimbabwe opposing white rule, ruling this country for almost four decades since it gained independence from Great Britain in 1980, but was forced to resign in November 2017 after an army coup.

After the war ended in 1980, Mugabe was elected the nation’s first black prime minister. After two terms as prime minister, Mugabe tightened his grip on power by changing the constitution, and he became president in 1987.

But later, many at home and abroad denounced him as a power-obsessed autocrat in the relentless pursuit of control.

His departure failed to lift Zimbabwe’s economy, however, which remains in its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924, in the then Rhodesia which covered the territory of present-day Zimbabwe. Returning to Rhodesia in 1960, he entered politics but four years later was jailed for a decade for criticizing the Government of Rhodesia without any court trial.

He was elected President of the African National Alliance of Zimbabwe while still in jail. After his release, he rose to the top of the powerful Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army.

His skillful negotiations led to a political agreement ending the crisis, and the declaration of the independence of the Republic of Zimbabwe soon followed.

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