Zimbabwe’s liberation icon and former President,Robert Gabriel Mugabe, has died. Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore on Friday surrounded by family including his wife, Grace.
A close family relative confirmed the incident.
“Sadly, we have lost him. It’s a day we hoped would never come, but he has had a good innings and is now rested,” a former minister in Mugabe’s government said, declining to be named.
Mugabe, ousted from power in a military coup in November 2017 after 37 years in power, had been receiving treatment in Singapore since April.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who seized power in November 2017 after a military coup ousted Mugabe, eulogised him as an “icon” in a Twitter tribute.
“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe,” Mnangagwa tweeted.
“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.”
Mnangagwa told a Cabinet meeting two weeks ago that doctors had “taken him off life support”, referring to Mugabe.
“There’s nothing more they can do for him,” Mnangagwa told Cabinet, according to a minister who was present.
Mugabe won Zimbabwe’s first election after independence, becoming Prime Minister in 1980. He abolished the office in 1987, becoming President instead.
Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924, in what was then Rhodesia.
He was imprisoned for more than a decade without trial after criticising the government of Rhodesia in 1964.
In 1973, while still in prison, he was chosen as president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu), of which he was a founding member.
Robert Mugabe promised democracy and reconciliation.
But the hope that accompanied independence in 1980 dissolved into violence, corruption and economic disaster.
President Mugabe became an outspoken critic of the West, most notably the United Kingdom, the former colonial power, which he denounced as an “enemy country”.
Despite his brutal treatment of political opponents, and his economic mismanagement of a once prosperous country, he continued to attract the support of other African leaders.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born in what was then Rhodesia on 21 February 1924, the son of a carpenter and one of the majority Shona-speaking people. Educated at Roman Catholic mission schools, he qualified as a teacher.
Winning a scholarship to Fort Hare University in South Africa, he took the first of his seven academic degrees before teaching in Ghana, where he was greatly influenced by the pan-Africanist ideas of Ghana’s post-independence leader Kwame Nkrumah. His first wife Sally was Ghanaian.
In 1960, Mugabe returned to Rhodesia. At first he worked for the African nationalist cause with Joshua Nkomo, before breaking away to become a founder member of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu). Zimlive