Former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe passed away at 95 at a Singapore hospital today after battling ill health, according to multiple sources in the Africa country. He was undergoing treatment in Singapore since April.
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed the news in a tweet, “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe.”
“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,” he said in another tweet. According to reports, Mugabe’s relatives had left the country yesterday for Singapore where he was on life support for some time.
A revolutionary and politician, Mugabe had served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017. He had also chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) group from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front from 1980 to 2017.
Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 38 years until was he deposed in a largely bloodless military coup in November following a power struggle between Grace Mugabe and Mr Mnangagwa, a former vice president and intelligence chief.
Known as “The Crocodile” during Zimbabwe’s early years of independence, Mnangagwa had been expelled from the country as Mrs Mugabe positioned herself to take over her husband’s legacy. However, he was spirited into the country with the backing of the military who put the Mugabes under house arrest in a takeover.
Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured of his safety under his resignation deal, a source of frustration to many Zimbabweans who accused him of looting state coffers and destroying the economy during his time in power.