Robert Gabriel Mugabe was a Zimbabwean revolutionary and left-wing nationalist politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017.
He served as Leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), from 1980 to 2017. Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist, and as a socialist after the 1990s.
Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 in Kutama, Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia. He attended a teacher’s training college in his hometown in 1941 before he proceeded to earn a series of bachelor’s degrees from South Africa’s University of Fort Hare, in 1951, and through correspondence courses.
He taught schools in Northern Rhodesia and Ghana between 1955 and 1960 when he returned to Southern Rhodesia. Mugabe became politicized in South Africa but it was in Ghana that he embraced Marxism. He helped found the Zimbabwe African National Union in 1963.
In 1980, Southern Rhodesia declared independence and became the Republic of Zimbabwe with Mugabe as prime minister. In 1987, he became the president of Zimbabwe.
In its early years, Mugabe’s government focused on education and healthcare for all Zimbabweans. Mugabe tended towards authoritarianism. He established one-party rule and enriched himself and his political party through corrupt practices.
Mugabe maintained his position through election fraud, intimidation and violence until 2017 when he was ousted in a coup. His death, in 2019, polarized public opinion, with the world scrambling for euphemisms to describe a leader who went from being a revolutionary to a despot.
How Robert Mugabe Died
On 6th September 2019, former Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, died in a hospital in Singapore at the age of 95. He had been hospitalized since April 2019