He had been in power since the end of the white minority government in 1980 and resigned in 2017 after a military coup.
Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe who became the hero of African liberation after the overthrow of the white colonial government, but later led his country to economic collapse and the edge of hunger, died at the age of 95 .
“It is with the greatest sadness that I announce the death of the founding father and former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe,” said Friday President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, elected after the resignation of Mugabe.
Mugabe was the world’s oldest leader when he resigned as president of Zimbabwe in November 2017 after a military coup. He had been running the country since 1980.
It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe (1/2)
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) 6 September 2019
Mugabe’s family also confirmed his death on the BBC. He had been treated in Singapore.
The teacher who became a fighter for independence leaves a checkered legacy.
Before resigning, the ruling party of the Patriotic Front of the African Union of Zimbabwe had already sacked Mugabe as leader and named Mnangagwa instead.
But his successor, Mnangagwa, said Mugabe was “an icon of liberation” and “a panafricanist who has dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people”.
“His contribution to the history of our nation and our continent will never be forgotten, let his soul rest in eternal peace,” Mnangagwa tweeted.
Fadzayi Mahere, a politician from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, tweeted “stay in peace” and “My response to his death is complicated … However, for the moment, I offer the deepest condolences to his family.”
Before resigning, it was said that Mugabe’s dismissal of Mnangagwa as vice-president, which would have paved the way for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, succeeded him, allowed the army to take the lead. control.
The US embassy in Zimbabwe said at the time that Mugabe’s resignation “marked a historic moment” for the country and congratulated all Zimbabweans who made their voices heard.
Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister at the time, said Mugabe’s resignation gave Zimbabwe “the opportunity to chart a new path without oppression characterizing its government”.
He became prime minister after the end of the white minority government in 1980 in the country, previously known as Rhodesia. He assumed the position of president in 1987 after a change in the constitution.
The liberation hero proclaimed himself champion of racial reconciliation when he came to power, but nearly four decades later critics have denounced him as an autocrat willing to free death squads, manipulate elections and destroy the economy.