Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's liberation leader who turned into a despot, is now dead. The former president of Zimbabwe died in Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore at the age of ninety-five. The cause of his death has not yet been disclosed, although it is alleged that he had been hospitalised in Singapore for a couple of months. Here is all you need to know about his life and cause of death.
News about the death of the former president of Zimbabwe and liberator went up on the 6th of September 2019. In a Twitter post, His Excellency president Emmerson Mnangagwa broke the news to the world at around 8 am. The Twitter post was followed by a series of reactions from leaders from all over the world, expressing their heartfelt condolences to the family and the country. As the condolence messages streamed in, they were followed by a series of accolades for his contribution in the country's liberation.
The life and times of Robert Mugabe
Most people know him for being the longest serving president in Zimbabwe. These highlights will come in handy in trying to disclose the person that he was and his contribution to the country's independence and economy.
Robert Mugabe age
When was Robert Mugabe born? The details of his birth date are 24th February 1924. He was the third child out of Gabriel Matibili and Bona's six children. During his early childhood days, his elder brothers died and his father abandoned him and his other siblings in 1934. At the time of his death, he was ninety-five years old.
Robert Mugabe family
In April 1961, he married Sally Hayfron. The two got a baby boy who later on died at the age of three after he had suffered from cerebral malaria. The death of his son caused him to be bitter as he was barred from going to bury him since he was in prison at the time of his death.
In 1992, Sally Hayfron passed on after battling a kidney problem. At the time of her death, Robert Mugabe had an affair with Grace Marufu who was his former secretary. By then, Grace Marufu was married to someone else.
On 17th August 1996, Mugabe married Grace, four years after the death of his first wife. By the time he was marrying her, she had already borne him three children, two sons: Bellarmine Chatunga and Robert Jr. and one daughter. Bona Mugabe is the only girl among Robert Mugabe children.
Robert Mugabe education
The latter was born in a mission in the Roman Catholic which is situated near Harare. He was among the lucky kids in the region who were educated by the Jesuit priests. He went to Kutama College where he was known for his solitude lifestyle. He would spend most of his time studying.
After completing his studies, he served as a teacher in a primary school after which he relocated to the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. While at the university, he was actively involved in matters regarding African Nationalism. He graduated from the university in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
During the year that followed, he went further to pursue six other degrees which he obtained from universities in different parts of Africa like Tanzania.
Robert Mugabe's rise to power
After he had graduated from Fort Harare University, Robert Mugabe practised as a lecturer at the Chalimbana Teacher Training College. He served this position between 1955 and 1958. It is during this time that he got interested in the country's politics. His passion for politics was greatly influenced by Kwame Nkrumah's Marxist works.
In 1960, he actualised his political aspirations and as a result, he joined the National Democratic Party and also formed Zimbabwe African Peoples Union' (ZAPU). ZAPU was banned in September that year. The two groups were aimed at opposing the white rule in Zimbabwe.
In 1963, he abandoned ZAPU and formed the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). ZANU was formed based on Africanist. The two parties were banned in August 1964. At the time when the two parties were being banned, they had caused a lot of political unrest in the country. This resulted in Robert Mugabe being was arrested and jailed for fourteen years. While in prison, his bitterness grew when he was denied the chance to bury his infant son who had succumbed to malaria.
When he got out of prison, he rose to become the 'thinking man’s guerrilla' which was a term that was used to refer to his learned nature because of the seven degrees that he had then. This reason made him rise in power to become the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army leader.
He became the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF) in the mid-70s, a position that he assumed. He led this liberation movement that was based in Mozambique. The liberation finally took place in 1979 after which elections were held on February 1980, making him the first prime minister of the country.
The revelation of his despot nature
Three years in power, the country could already feel the effects of Mugabe's rule. He made it known that he would not stand anyone opposing him. As a result, he led massacres for those who were against his rule. An estimated 20,000 people who were assumed to be supporters of his rivals are believed to have perished during the massacres.
Land reforms that paralysed Zimbabwe's economy
When he got into power, he imposed a law that barred distribution of the land in the country. This ban on land reform was meant to last ten years. By then, the whites had secured the best and most fertile chunks of land in the country, where Africans helped in cultivating.
In 1992, he made reforms in the act and the whites were forced to distribute the fertile lands to Zimbabweans. He even issued an ultimatum to chase them out of the country if they did not comply.
Eight years later, he led the Fast Track Land Reform that saw 23 million acres redistributed to the 'commercial farmers in the country.' It is, however, alleged that the land was shared among his political friends and supporters.
During the fiscal year between 2001 and 2002, Zimbabwe experienced a 60% drop in agriculture. This condition did not get better, as in 2016, the country suffered serious cases of drought. At the same time, its economy kept on dwindling.
This economic collapse resulted in more than 3 million people leaving the country.
Worthless Money and a flashy lifestyle
After the onset of economic strain, the country's unemployment rate kept on increasing and was at one point at 80%. At the same time, the inflation rates grew to 230 million per cent. The situation worsened when a 10 trillion dollars was introduced in the country. This note caused the country's currency to lose value and was quickly replaced by other currencies like the US dollar and the South African Rand.
Mugabe's family flashy lifestyle
The situation worsened when President Mugabe became arrogant and turned his leadership to dictatorship. Despite the country's crumbling economic situation, he and his family lived a flashy lifestyle, spending the better part of their time on vacations in the Middle East. The lavish lifestyle earned his wife the name, "Gucci Grace" as she at on instance spent $75000 during a shopping spree in Paris. She is also believed to have ordered a 100-carat ring whose worth is $1.35 million during one of her anniversaries.
Part of the wealth that got most people convinced that Mugabe and his family were after imploding he country was their mega-mansion whose estimated worth is £8million. The former president also resided in a 25-bedroom apartment in Harare. The house is popularly known as Blue Roof.
Apart from the property in Zimbabwe, a look into Mugabe's wealth revealed that he had wealth outside Zimbabwe with several bank accounts in countries like Switzerland, Scotland to mention a few. Among the assets that are outside Zimbabwe and were owned by the late president include a villa in Hong Kong whose estimated worth is $5 million. He is also believed to have real estate properties in Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore.
Besides the properties that are worth a dime, Mugabe also had the most expensive rides including:
- The Phantom edition of the Rolls Royce
- A custom-made mercedes benz that was able to withstand the effects of a grenade, landmines and AK-47 bullets.
The end of the 37-year rule
In November 2017, Robert Mugabe made history when he penned down a resignation note after several attempts to throw him out of power. His resignation came six days after the military pulled a coup that saw them take over the country, making him spend the six days under house arrest.
The military was prompted to take action after he had fired his then vice president: Emmerson Mnangagwa for joining forces with ZANU-PF to push for Mugabe's resignation. After he had submitted his resignation on 22nd November 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa was appointed as the president.
Where is Grace Mugabe now?
There are claims that the latter is likely to face charges for theft of the country's property. According to reports, she was with her husband in Singapore at the time of his death.
Robert Mugabe latest news
On 6th September, the latter topped the news headlines with most media stations reporting 'Robert Mugabe dies'. The reports went further to report that the latest on Robert Mugabe stating that he had died in a hospital in Singapore. The cause of his death has not been established even though it has been confirmed that he died at the age of ninety-five.
Leaders condole with the family of the late
News with the headlines reading: 'Robert Mugabe dies' went up after Zimbabwe president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, posted on his Twitter account about Mugabe's death. His Twitter post drew the country's attention about Robert Mugabe dead news came up. The news have triggered several dignitaries to pen down emotional messages about acknowledging his contribution to the country's liberation. These are some of the condolence messages that have been sent regarding the death:
The leader of the country's main opposition party Nelson Chamisa, sent his condolence message saying:
My condolences to the Mugabe family and Africa for the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding President. This is a dark moment for the family because a giant among them has fallen. May the Lord comfort them.
Even though I and our party, the MDC, and the Zimbabwean people had great political differences with the late former President during his tenure in office, and disagreed for decades, we recognise his contribution made during his lifetime as a nation’s founding President.
Kate Hoey the Labour MP for UK said:
Mugabe brought independence to Zimbabwe and then killed in the Gukurahundi-up to 80,000 of his own citizens in Matabeleland and brought his country to its knees economically. A hero to a brutal dictator
The united States embassy recognised his contribution in liberation saying:
The United States extends its condolences to the Mugabe family and the people of Zimbabwe as they mourn the passing of former President Robert Mugabe. We join the world in reflecting on his legacy in securing Zimbabwe’s independence.
Even though the news about 'Mugabe dead' went up in the morning, there has been a mixed reaction in Zimbabwe as most people have taken to the streets to celebrate his death claiming that his rule caused them economic devastation. Others have taken to social media to reminisce on Robert Mugabe quotes.
On 6th September 2019, Mugabe latest news went up with the media reporting about his death that occurred in the early morning of the 6th of September at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore. Robert Mugabe has died at the age of ninety-five.