Former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has been an infamous political leader and also had a great influence on Zimbabwe’s freedom fighting movements.
We had earlier reported that one of the longest-serving presidents Africa ever produced died in the early hours of Friday at the age of 95 in Singapore while receiving medical care.
Here are some notable facts about the life of Mugabe.
1. His full name is Robert Gabriel Mugabe. He was born on 21st February 1924 in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe. The place came under British rule at that point in time and the region was under too much political stress because of this reason.
2. Gabriel Matibili was his father. He was a carpenter. His mother, Bona, was from the Shona ethnic group. Some sources also report that Mugabe’s father went to South Africa to work at a Jesuit mission when Mugabe was still a little boy, but he never came back home.
3. He was educated at Catholic schools and attended the South Africa’s University of Fort Hare. He teaches in Zambia and Ghana, where he is influenced by African independence movement leaders.
4. It was in Ghana Mugabe met his wife Sally Hayfron for the first time and got married to her. He had one son with Sally Hayfron, but he died at the age of 4.
5. After Sally’s death, Mugabe got married to Grace Marufu, who is his present wife and he has two sons and one daughter with her.
6. Mugabe was appointed as the Public Secretary of the National Democratic Party in 1960.
7. He co-founded the Zimbabwe African National Union in 1963.
8. He was arrested for his aggressive protests against the British colonial Government and imprisoned for ten years.
9. While he was in prison, he continued his education and earned university degrees in economics, education, administration, and law from the University of London External Programme.
10. Is released from prison leads the ZANU-PF, the guerilla movement, from Mozambique.
11. In 1977 he was elected president of ZANU-PF and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA).
12. Within April 18, 1980-December 31, 1987 – After February elections, he serves as the first prime minister of Zimbabwe. Helps form the Republic of Zimbabwe after the British rule of Rhodesia comes to an end.
13. On December 31, 1987, he was elected by the national assembly to a four-year term after a new constitution replaces the office of prime minister with an executive president.
14. In 1993 he threatens to expel white landowners who object to the 1992 Land Acquisition Act permitting the government to force them to give up their land for redistribution to black Zimbabweans.
15. Meanwhile, in March 1996 Mugabe was re-elected as the President of the country, in what becomes a one-man contest, after all, other opponents drop out days before the election.
16. While in 2000 he begins ordering white farmers to give up their land. Some 4,000 farmers lose their land and Zimbabwe’s agricultural output decreases sharply.
17. The European Union and the United States imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and some senior ZANU-PF party members after widespread reports of human rights violations in 2002.
18. Also in March 2002 – Mugabe was re-elected to another six-year presidential term amid charges of fraud and “state-sponsored-terrorism.”
19. On June 24 the same year – Mugabe Prepares to enforce the redistribution of land from whites to blacks, issue orders to white farmers to stop working their farms and vacate their property, despite the country’s worst famine in 60 years.
20. However, in December 2003 – Zimbabwe was withdrawn from the Commonwealth, a 54-nation organization of Great Britain and her former colonies.
21. In August 2004 Accusations by Human Rights Watch state that starvation is being used as a tool for the regime’s support among Zimbabweans. Farm output has decreased sharply since Mugabe began his policy of land grabs.
22. July 16, 2007, the University of Edinburgh withdraws the honorary degree it awarded Mugabe in 1984 for his services to education in Africa. “The removal of this honorary degree shows the people of Zimbabwe that we recognize their struggle,” Edinburgh University rector Mark Ballard states.
23. Within November 14-15, 2017 Zimbabwe’s military leaders seized control, placing Mugabe under house arrest and deploying armored vehicles to the streets of the capital, Harare. While on November 21, 2017 – Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president, after 37 years of autocratic rule. But before he resigned Mugabe fires his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, potentially clearing the way for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to succeed him.
24. In 2018 Mugabe was seen in public for the first time since leaving power. He berated his former ZANU-PF allies and backed opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on the eve of an election.
25. In 2019 Mugabe traveled several times to Singapore to seek medical treatment as pictures of the gaunt, gray-haired former leader circulated on social media.