This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019
Advertisement

Former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe has died aged 95

Mugabe led Zimbabwe for over 30 years.

Robert Mugabe has died.
Robert Mugabe has died.
Image: DPA/PA Images

Updated Sep 6th 2019, 7:18 AM

THE FORMER LEADER of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has died aged 95. 

Mugabe lost power in November 2017 following a military coup. 

Born on 21 February 1924, Mugabe led the country for 37 years. 

His successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed Mugabe’s death in a tweet.

“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President… Robert Mugabe,” Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

Mugabe had been battling ill health, and his fall from office in November 2017, his stamina seeped away rapidly.

He was hospitalised in Singapore for months for an undisclosed ailment, Mnangagwa had confirmed earlier this year.

No further details were immediately available about the circumstances of his death, or where he died.

The Mugabe years are widely remembered for his crushing of political dissent, and policies that ruined the economy.

The former political prisoner turned guerrilla leader swept to power in the 1980 elections after a growing insurgency and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.

In office, he initially won international plaudits for his declared policy of racial reconciliation and for extending improved education and health services to the black majority.

However, that faded as rapidly as he cracked down on opponents, including a campaign known as Gukurahundi that killed an estimated 20,000 dissidents.

The violent seizure of white-owned farms turned Mugabe into an international pariah – though his status as a liberation hero still resonates strongly in most of Africa.

Aimed largely at placating angry war veterans who threatened to destabilise his rule, the land reform policy wrecked the crucial agricultural sector, caused foreign investors to flee and helped plunge the country into economic misery.

All along, the Mugabe regime was widely accused of human rights violations and of rigging elections.

The topic of his succession was virtually taboo during Mugabe’s decades-long rule, and a vicious struggle to take over after his death became clear among the ruling elite as he reached his 90s and became visibly frail.

Includes reporting by © AFP 2019  

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (81)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel