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Friday, September 06, 2019

Life Of Robert Mugabe


Robert Mugabe was born in 1924 in what was then British-ruled Southern Rhodesia.
His childhood was marked by his dad abandoning the family in 1934, with a young Mugabe left to be educated by Catholic missionaries.
Becoming an idealistic student, he then went to the same South Africa university as Nelson Mandela, considering peaceful protesters like Ghandi as his hero.
It was while studying from 1950-1952 that the future tyrant decided to be a politician - returning to Southern Rhodesia in 1960 and abandoning teaching to become a leader in the freedom fight.
In 1963, he was arrested and jailed for 11 years.
It was during this time that Rhodesia's white minority declared independence from Britain.
Mugabe was eventually released from jail in 1974, escaping to Mozambique to join guerrilla movement Zimbabwe African National Union, who elected him as their leader.
And just five years later, Mugabe returned home as Rhodesia was declared the independent state of Zimbabwe.
He became prime minister in 1980 and, from 1983 to 1985, at least 10,000 people - most civilians - were killed when Mugabe sent North Korean-trained soldiers to crush dissidents.
But despite having started as a freedom fighter, his rule quickly became marked by corruption and Stalin-ist style.
In 1987, he became president and in 2000 he encouraged black Zimbabweans gangs to seize white-owned farms.
He was re-elected in disputed elections in 2002, 2008 and 2013, with opponents beaten and killed.
Zimbambwe began to suffer under his iron-fist rule, with food shortages in 2002 threatening a famine in the country.
And as the once successful agricultural country became dependent on support from other countries, hyperinflation of 500 billion per cent sent prices rocketing in 2008 - forcing millions of people to flee Zimbabwe, with many going to South Africa.
In 2010, it was reported that Mugabe was suffering from cancer.
But the country began to revolt against Mugabe - led by a pastor in Zimbabwe's biggest act of defiance.
A 2017 coup saw by Zimbabwe's military ousted Mugabe, who was taken into custody as crowds took to the street to celebrate.
He was allowed to keep his house, staff, cars and wealth but in June, photographs emerged showing him appear to be frail and in a wheelchair.
Mugabe died on September 6, 2019, following a long illness

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