Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, Robert Mugabe, has died in Singapore at the age of 95. The news of his death was confirmed by current Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa from his official Twitter account.
Mnangagwa, who was Mugabe’s deputy before succeeding him in 2017, wrote 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.” His second tweet read, “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.”
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 (2/2)
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) September 6, 2019
Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 in what was then known as Rhodesia under British colony. He had spent more than a decade inside a prison without a trial for criticising the government run by a white minority.
He was elected the president of Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) while Mugabe was still serving his jail sentence. After his release, he left for Mozambique from where he directed his guerilla army to carry out raids at key installations across Rhodesia.
His party won the first-ever elections after independence in 1980 with a huge margin and Mugabe became the first post-independence President of Republic of Zimbabwe.
In 2017, he sacked his long-time ally Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This was primarily done to pave his wife Grace Marufu to succeed him. But the chaos that followed led to the army intervention, forcing him to step down from the post.