Robert Mugabe - Death, Quotes and Family (2023)

(1924-2019)

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Robert Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). In 1963 he founded ZANU, a resistance movement against British colonial rule. Mugabe became prime minister of the new Republic of Zimbabwe after the end of British rule in 1980 and became president seven years later. Mugabe remained in power through disputed elections until he was forced to step down in November 2017 at the age of 93.

Early years and education

Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), a few months after Southern Rhodesia became a British Crown Colony. As a result, her villagers were oppressed by new laws and faced restrictions on their education and job opportunities.

Mugabe's father was a carpenter. He went to work at a Jesuit mission in South Africa when Mugabe was just a boy and, mysteriously, never returned home. Mugabe's mother, a teacher, had to raise Mugabe and his three siblings on her own. As a child, Mugabe helped out by tending the family's cows and earning money by doing odd jobs.

Although many people in Southern Rhodesia only attended primary school, Mugabe was fortunate to receive a good education. He attended school at the local Jesuit mission under the supervision of the headmaster, Father O'Hea. A powerful influence on the boy, O'Hea taught Mugabe that all people should be treated equally and trained to fulfill their potential. Mugabe's teachers, who called him a "smart boy," quickly recognized his abilities as significant.

The values ​​O'Hea passed on to his students resonated with Mugabe, prompting him to pass them on by becoming a teacher himself. During nine years he studied privately while teaching in various missionary schools in Southern Rhodesia. Mugabe continued his studies at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, graduating in 1951 with a degree in History and English. Mugabe then returned to his hometown to teach. In 1953 he received his bachelor's degree in education through correspondence courses.

In 1955 Mugabe moved to Northern Rhodesia. There he taught at Chalimbana Training College for four years, while also working towards his degree in economics through correspondence courses at the University of London. After moving to Ghana, Mugabe completed his studies in economics in 1958. He also taught in St. Louis. Mary's Teacher Training College, where he met his first wife, Sarah Heyfron, whom he would marry in 1961. In Ghana, Mugabe declared himself a Marxist, supporting the Ghanaian government's goal of providing equal educational opportunities to the previously designated lower classes.

Beginning of a political career

In 1960, Robert Mugabe returned to his hometown on leave, planning to introduce his bride to his mother. Unexpectedly, Mugabe arrived to find a drastically changed Southern Rhodesia. Tens of thousands of black families were displaced by the new colonial government and the white population exploded. The government refused black majority rule, resulting in violent protests. Mugabe was also outraged by this denial of black rights. In July 1960, he agreed to address the crowd at the 7,000 march to Harare City Hall in Salisbury. The purpose of the meeting was for members of the opposition movement to protest the recent arrest of their leaders. Mugabe braced himself for police threats and told protesters how Ghana had successfully won independence through Marxism.

A few weeks later, Mugabe was elected public secretary of the National Democratic Party. Following the Ghanaian models, Mugabe quickly established a militant youth union to publicize the achievement of black independence in Rhodesia. The government banned the party in late 1961, but the remaining supporters rallied to form a movement that was the first of its kind in Rhodesia. The Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) quickly grew to an impressive 450,000 members.

Union leader Joshua Nkomo was invited to meet with the United Nations, which asked Britain to suspend its constitution and re-address the issue of majority rule. But as time passed and nothing changed, Mugabe and others grew frustrated that Nkomo was not pushing for a firm date for changes to the constitution. His frustration was so great that in April 1961 Mugabe spoke publicly of starting a guerrilla war – even defiantly declaring to a policeman: "We are taking control of this country and we will not tolerate this nonsense."

Formation of ZANU

In 1963, Mugabe and other former supporters of Nkomo founded their own resistance movement called the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in Tanzania. Later that year, back in Southern Rhodesia, police arrested Mugabe and sent him to Hwahwa Prison. Mugabe would remain in prison for over ten years and was transferred from Hwahwa Prison to Sikombela Detention Center and later to Salisbury Prison. In 1964, while in prison, Mugabe relied on secret communications to launch guerrilla operations to liberate Southern Rhodesia from British rule.

In 1974, Prime Minister Ian Smith, claiming he would achieve a real majority but still declaring his loyalty to the British colonial government, allowed Mugabe to leave prison and attend a conference in Lusaka, Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia). . Instead, Mugabe escaped back across the border into Southern Rhodesia, amassing a force of Rhodesian rebels along the way. Fighting continued throughout the 1970s. At the end of that decade, Zimbabwe's economy was worse than ever. In 1979, after Smith tried unsuccessfully to reach an agreement with Mugabe, the British agreed to oversee the shift to a black majority and the United Nations lifted sanctions.

In 1980, Southern Rhodesia broke free from British rule and became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe. Under the banner of the ZANU party, Mugabe was elected prime minister of the new republic on the nomination of Nkomo. In 1981, a battle broke out between ZANU and ZAPU due to their different agendas. In 1985, Mugabe was re-elected as the struggle continued. In 1987, when a group of missionaries were tragically murdered by Mugabe supporters, Mugabe and Nkomo finally agreed to merge their unions into the ZANU Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and focus on the country's economic recovery.

presidency

Just a week after the unity deal, Mugabe was appointed president of Zimbabwe. He chose Nkomo as one of his senior ministers. Mugabe's first major goal was to restructure and repair the country's battered economy. In 1989, he began implementing a five-year plan that loosened price restrictions on farmers so they could set their own prices. By 1994, the end of the five-year period, the economy had seen some growth in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Mugabe also succeeded in building clinics and schools for the black population. Also around this time, Mugabe's wife, Sarah, died, leaving him free to marry his mistress, Grace Marufu.

In 1996, Mugabe's decisions began to worry Zimbabweans, who had once hailed him as a hero who led the country to independence. Many resented his choice to support the confiscation of white land without compensation to landowners, which Mugabe said was the only way to level the economic playing field for the underprivileged black majority. Citizens were also angered by Mugabe's refusal to amend Zimbabwe's one-party constitution. High inflation was another sore spot, leading civil servants to strike for pay rises. The salary increases granted to government officials have only increased the public outcry against the Mugabe government.

Objections to Mugabe's controversial political strategies continued to hinder his success. When he appealed to other countries to donate money for land distribution in 1998, the countries said they would not donate unless he first came up with a program to help Zimbabwe's poor rural economy. Mugabe refused and the countries refused to donate.

In 2000, Mugabe passed a constitutional amendment requiring Britain to pay reparations for land taken from blacks. Mugabe stated that he would confiscate British land as compensation if they did not pay. The amendment further enhanced Zimbabwe's foreign relations.

But Mugabe, an ultra-conservative man who wore shirts with his own face on his campaign trail, won the 2002 presidential election. Speculation that he had rigged the polls led the European Union to impose an arms embargo and other sanctions on Zimbabwe. At the time, Zimbabwe's economy was almost in ruins. Famine, an AIDS epidemic, foreign debt and widespread unemployment devastated the country. Mugabe, however, was determined to keep his position and did so by any means - including alleged violence and corruption - and won the vote in the 2005 parliamentary elections.

Refusal to abdicate

On 29 March 2008, when he lost the presidential election to Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Mugabe refused to relinquish the reins and demanded a recount. The second round of elections will be held in June. Meanwhile, MDC supporters were savagely attacked and killed by members of Mugabe's opposition. When Mugabe publicly stated that he would never let Tsvangirai rule Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai concluded that Mugabe's use of force would sway the vote for Mugabe anyway and stepped down.

Mugabe's refusal to hand over presidential power sparked another violent outbreak that left thousands injured and 85 Tsvangirai supporters killed. In September of that year, Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to a power-sharing deal. Always determined to maintain control, Mugabe still managed to retain most of the power by controlling the security forces and appointing leaders to the most vital ministerial posts.

In late 2010, Mugabe took further steps to take full control of Zimbabwe, selecting interim governors without consulting Tsvangirai. A US diplomatic cable said Mugabe may be battling prostate cancer for the next year. The accusation sparked public concern about a military coup should Mugabe die in office. Others have expressed concern that an internal war may be raging within ZANU-PF as candidates try to compete to succeed Mugabe.

2013 elections

On 10 December 2011, during the National People's Conference in Bulawayo, Mugabe officially announced his candidacy for the 2012 Zimbabwean presidential election. However, the election was postponed as both sides agreed to draft a new constitution and was rescheduled for in 2013. The people of Zimbabwe supported the new document in March 2013 and approved it in a constitutional referendum, although many believed the election would invalidate the The 2013 presidential election will be marred by corruption and violence.

according to aReutersAt the report, representatives of nearly 60 civil society organizations across the country protested the crackdown on Mugabe and his supporters. Mugabe's critics, members of these groups are victims of harassment, arrests and other forms of intimidation. There was also the question of who could oversee the voting process. Mugabe said he would not allow Westerners to monitor the country's elections.

In March, Mugabe traveled to Rome for the inauguration of Pope Francis, the newly appointed pope. Mugabe told reporters that the new pope should visit Africa, saying: "We hope that he will bring us all his children on the same footing, the footing of equality, the footing that we are all equal in the eyes of God," according to a report. fromA related formula.

In late July 2013, during a debate over Zimbabwe's ongoing and long-awaited elections, the 89-year-old Mugabe made headlines when he was asked if he planned to run again in the 2018 elections (he would have been 94 at the time). reporter fromThe New York Times, to which the president replied, "Why do you want to know my secrets?" AccordingTHEWashington Post, Mugabe's rival Tsvangirai accused election officials of giving away nearly 70,000 votes in his favor that were sent in earlier.

In early August, Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission declared Mugabe the winner of the presidential race. According to BBC News, he won 61 percent of the vote and Tsvangirai just 34 percent. Tsvangirai was expected to legally challenge the election results. AccordingGuardiannewspaper, Tsvangirai said the election "did not reflect the will of the people. I don't think even those in Africa who committed voter fraud did so blatantly."

Arrest of American citizen

In November 2017, an American woman living in Zimbabwe was charged with undermining the government and undermining – or insulting – the president.

According to prosecutors, the defendant, Martha O'Donovan, a project coordinator for the activist Magamba Network, had "systematically sought to incite political unrest through the expansion, development and use of a sophisticated network of social media platforms, in addition to the Keladimas. accounts". He faces up to 20 years in prison on the charges.

The arrest sparked concerns that Mugabe's government was trying to clamp down on social media ahead of 2018 national elections.

Military takeover and resignation

Meanwhile, a more dire situation unfolded in Zimbabwe with the launch of what appeared to be a military coup. On November 14, shortly after Mugabe was sacked by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, tanks were seen in the country's capital, Harare. The next morning, a military spokesman appeared on television to announce that the military was arresting criminals who were "causing social and economic woes in the country to bring them to justice."

The spokesman emphasized that this was not a military takeover of the government, saying: "We want to assure the nation that His Excellency the President... and his family are safe and sound and their security is assured." At the time, Mugabe's whereabouts were unknown, but it was later confirmed that he was confined to his home.

The next day, Zimbabwethe harbingerposted photos of the aging president at home, along with other government and military officials. Officials have discussed implementing a transitional government, although no public announcement has been made.

On November 17, Mugabe made another public appearance at a university graduation ceremony, an appearance believed to mask the turmoil behind the scenes. After initially refusing to cooperate with proposed plans for his peaceful removal from power, the president has reportedly agreed to announce his departure during a televised address scheduled for November 19.

However, Mugabe made no mention of retirement during the speech and insisted he will preside over a congress of the ruling ZANU-PF party in December. As a result, it was announced that the party would begin impeachment proceedings to remove him from power.

On November 22, shortly after convening a joint sitting of Zimbabwe's parliament for the impeachment vote, the speaker read a letter from the embattled president. "I have resigned to allow for a smooth transition of power," Mugabe wrote. "Please make my decision public as soon as possible."

The end of Mugabe's 37-year tenure was met with applause from MPs and celebrations on the streets of Zimbabwe. Former Vice President Mnangagwa will take over and serve out the remainder of Mugabe's term until the 2018 elections, a ZANU-PF spokesman said.

Shortly before the 30 July 2018 election, Mugabe said he could not support Mnangagwa's successor after being forced out of "the party I founded" and suggested MDC opposition leader Nelson Chamisa was the only viable presidential candidate . This prompted a strong response from Mnangagwa, who said: "It is clear to all that Chamisa has made a deal with Mugabe, we can no longer believe that his intentions are to transform Zimbabwe and rebuild our nation."

Electoral tensions also spilled over into the public eye, with violent protests over what was seen as a parliamentary victory for ZANU-PF and a triumph for Mnangagwa. MDC president Morgan Komichi said his party would challenge the result in court.

Death

Mugabe died on 6 September 2019 at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, where he had been under observation for several months due to an unknown illness.

"It is with deep sadness that I announce the death of Zimbabwe's founder and former president Cde Robert Mugabe," Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa tweeted. “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 our continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace."

  • Name: Robert Mugabe
  • Year of birth: 1924
  • Date of birth: 21 February 1924
  • Place of residence: Kutama (formerly Southern Rhodesia)
  • Country of birth: Zimbabwe
  • male gender
  • Best Known For: Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 and was the country's President from 1987 until his forced resignation in 2017.
  • industries
    • world politics
  • Astrological sign: Pisces
  • Schools
    • University of Fort Hare, South Africa
  • Nationalities
    • Zimbabwe
  • Year of death: 2019
  • Date of death: September 6, 2019
  • Country of Death: Singapore

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  • Article Title: Biography of Robert Mugabe
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website name: the Biography.com website
  • URL: https://www.biography.com/political-figures/robert-mugabe
  • Access date:
  • Publisher: A&E Television Networks
  • Last updated: September 15, 2020
  • Original publication date: April 2, 2014
  • If it was a choice of losing our sovereignty and joining the Commonwealth or staying with our sovereignty and losing our Commonwealth membership, I would say let the Commonwealth go.
  • Our party must continue to terrorize the white man, our real enemy!
  • We are not going to ask for the land anymore, but we are taking it without negotiation.
  • We occupy this country and we will not tolerate this nonsense.
  • Why do you want to know my secrets?
  • I am still the Hitler of that time. This Hitler has only one goal: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of his people's independence and rights to their resources. If this is Hitler, let me be Hitler tenfold. Tenfold, that's what we stand for.
  • We hope that [Pope Francis] will take us to all his children on the same basis, the basis of equality, the basis that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

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