Robert Mugabe, former Zimbabwe president, dead at 95

Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe who became an African liberation hero after toppling white colonial rule, has died at the age of 95.

Zimbabwe’s late President Robert Mugabe looks on during a rally marking Zimbabwe’s 32nd independence anniversary celebrations in Harare April 18, 2012.REUTERS/Stringer (ZIMBABWE – Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY) – RTR30W6H

“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former president, Cde Robert Mugabe,” President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, who was elected after Mugabe stepped down, tweeted on Friday.

 

Mugabe was the world’s oldest ruler when he resigned as Zimbabwe’s president in November of 2017, following a military coup. He had ruled the country since 1980.

Mugabe’s family also confirmed his death to the BBC. He had been receiving medical treatment in Singapore.

 

The teacher-turned-independence fighter leaves behind a checkered legacy.

Before he resigned, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party had already removed Mugabe as leader and named Mnangagwa in his place.

But his successor Mnangagwa said that Mugabe was “an icon of liberation” and “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,” Mnangagwa tweeted.

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