Robert Mugabe, the deeply divisive ex-president of Zimbabwe, was declared a “national hero” by the ruling Zanu-PF party on Friday, after he was confirmed dead.
As preparations for his funeral got under way in the nation he ruled with an iron first for almost 40 years, Mugabe died at 95.
His death was initially recorded on Thursday night, 5th September, 2019, after a clinic in Singapore marked the definitive end of an era in the former British colony. He died after battling ill health for some months, according to his family.
Robert Mugabe who was born on February 12, 1924, in what was then Rhodesia and ruled Zimbabwe for close to four decades before being ousted in a military takeover in November 2017.
Though initially admired as a hero of Africa’s independence struggle, his long rule descended into tyranny, corruption and incompetence, earning him international pariah status. His death prompted mixed reactions in Zimbabwe, across Africa and around the world.He was regarded by many as a tyrant, willing to unleash death squads, rig elections and trash the economy in the relentless pursuit of power.
President Mnangagwa tweeted: “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.”
No plans for a funeral have been announced, but it is expected to take place in the capital, Harare, or Mugabe’s home town of Zvimba.