Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe died at the age of 95 in Singapore on Friday, said his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President Comrade Robert Mugabe,” Mnangagwa tweeted. “Comrade Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people.”
Mnangagwa added: “His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
The former president died in Singapore, where he has often received medical treatment in recent years, Reuters reported, citing unidentified officials. According to BBC, Mugabe was in Singapore since April, battling ill health. The exact cause of his death is not known.
Mugabe was ousted from power in a military coup in November 2017, ending his 37-year rule that left the country impoverished. His government was accused of several human rights violations, and he was also accused of maladministration that led to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and healthcare system. He is infamous for his statement that “only God” could ever remove him from office.
According to reports, after his ouster Mugabe received immunity from prosecution, a $10-million payout, medical cover and military protection.
Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924, in a country then known as Rhodesia. In 1964, he was jailed for more than a decade without trial for criticising the government. In 1973, he became the president of the Zimbabwe African National Union, which he had founded along with others.
After his release from prison, Mugabe moved to Mozambique and oversaw guerrilla attacks in Rhodesia. He was also a skilled negotiator, and directed the talks that led to the creation of the Republic of Zimbabwe, where the first elections were held in 1980.
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