Who was Robert Mugabe? Former president of Zimbabwe who has died aged 95

Who was Robert Mugabe? Former president of Zimbabwe who has died aged 95

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THE former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has died at the age of 95.

He passed The former Zimbabwe president passed away in Singapore surrounded by his family including wife Grace.

Robert Mugabe, 93, was the world’s oldest head of state
AFP or licensors

Who is Robert Mugabe?

Mr Mugabe, born 21 February 1924, was a communist and nationalist revolutionary.

In the 1970s he led a guerrilla campaign against the minority white government in what was then known as Rhodesia.

In 1979, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that the UK would officially recognise Rhodesia’s independence if it moved to democratic majority rule.

Mugabe was elected Prime Minister the following year when his ZANU-PF secured 63 per cent of the national vote.

He has clung to power since by crushing opposition through constitutional changes and cracking down on dissent with state force.

Mugabe abolished the Office of Prime Minister to appoint himself President of Zimbabwe in 1987.

Human rights groups have accused him of blatant abuses and overseeing a wave of anti-white discrimination and state corruption while the economy tanked.

Since the 2013 elections – which were not deemed free and fair – the ageing Mugabe had tried to lay the ground for a successor.

Many believed that his wife Grace, at nearly half his age, had been lined up for the job.

he resigned after being captured in a military coup in the early hours of 15 November 2017.

At the time he was the world’s oldest head of state and was the only leader the country had known since its independence in 1980.

Mugabe and his wife Grace, who is 41 years his junior. She was being lined up to succeed him
Reuters

Who are Robert Mugabe’s family?

Mr Mugabe was married to Grace (nee Marufu), his former secretary who he began an affair with in 1987 while his first wife Sally (nee Hayfron).

Grace is 41 years his junior, and together they have a daughter Bona, born in 1988, son Robert, born in 1990, and youngest son Bellarmine, born in 1997.

In 1992, Mugabe’s wife Sally died. Four years later, Mugabe and Grace were married.

The Mugabe family are known for displaying their lavish lifestyle on social media, with Grace and her children often seen wearing designer clothes.

Tanks began appearing on the streets on 14 November 2017 as a suspected coup was launched
Reuters

Has Mugabe resigned and could he be impeached?

Despot Mugabe resigned as leader of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, November 21.

Parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda read the dictator’s resignation letter to the country’s lawmakers.

“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation… with immediate effect,” said speaker Mudenda, reading the letter.

Following the resignation announcement, there were joyous scenes on the streets of the capital Harare and in parliament.

Reports first emerged on November 15, 2017, that Mugabe had been placed under house arrest by the Zimbabwean armed forces. 

Tanks were seen roaming moving through the streets as troops entered buildings in Harare.

One of the officers leading the coup, Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army’s chief of staff, denied power was seized.

He said Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed.”


Mr Moyo warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”

The action was believed to have been triggered by Mugabe’s sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe made his first public appearance since the coup on Friday, November 17 at a graduation ceremony.

In a meeting with the military, church leaders and international mediators, Mugabe is said to have asked for “a few more days, a few more months”.

He was expected to stand down on Sunday, November 19, but in a rambling 21-minute speech the 93-year-old refused to relinquish power.

The frail leader vowed to stay in power in a rambling 21-minute speech
AP:Associated Press

He refused to leave office for eight days ahead of a military takeover.

Thousands of Zimbabweans had gathered outside parliament to urge MPs to ensure Mugabe left power.

He finally resigned after being captured in a military coup in the early hours of November 15, 2017.

A ruling party official said Zimbabwe’s recently fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa would take over as leader within 48 hours of Mugabe’s resignation.

On November 23, Mugabe and his wife were granted immunity from prosecution, the military said.

It’s after Mugabe told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe.


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