Mugabe

Former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has died, aged 95.

Mugabe who ruled the country from 1980 to 2017 when he was forced to resign by the previously loyal military, will be remembered for ridding the former British colony of Rhodesia of white minority rule.

The late ex-president used repression and fear to hold on to power in Zimbabwe until he was finally ousted.

“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 in a tweet.

“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.”

Mugabe had been battling ill health and 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.

Mugabe was a political prisoner turned guerrilla leader and 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.

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