The former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has reportedly died at the age of 95.
He died after battling ill health for some months, according to his family.
Since April this year the former leader was hospitalized in a Singapore Hospital.
Mugabe’s family has confirmed that he died in Singapore. He died surrounded by family including his wife, Grace.
Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924, in what was then Rhodesia.
He led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980 and has ruled the country for decades
Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader but resigned from power after a military takeover in November 2017.
Presidential statement on death
Mr. Mugabe was succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa as President.
Mnangagwa in a statement said “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.”
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 (2/2)
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) September 6, 2019
Zimbabwe’s education secretary Fadzayi Mahere also reacted to the news in a tweet.
Rest In Peace, Robert Mugabe.
My response to your passing is complicated. I’m going to write a long piece.
However, for now, deepest condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/cu5Bioa8v1
— Fadzayi Mahere 🇿🇼 (@advocatemahere) September 6, 2019
Robert Mugabe was a popular figure across Africa. He was passionate about Pan-Africanism and took inspiration from personalities like Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana.
His clashes often with the West which led to the imposition of some sanctions on his country during his tenure.
Robert Mugabe first served as prime minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as president from 1987 to 2017.
He was imprisoned for over ten years without trial after criticized the government of Rhodesia in 1964.
Mugabe was chosen as president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) while in prison in 1973.
He was a founding member of the Union which still rules Zimbabwe till date.
When he was released from prison he left for Mozambique and led guerrilla raids into Rhodesia.
Political agreements to end the crisis resulted in the new independent Republic of Zimbabwe, elections for which were first held in 1980.
Mr Mugabe secured an overwhelming victory in the 1980 elections and became the country’s first Prime Minister.