HARARE, ZIMBABWE – Former Zimbabwean long serving president Robert Mugabe died peacefully today at his home in Harare, according to a statement from his family. The cause of death was not given.
A statement from Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, said: “My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Robert Gabriel Mugabe, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather has passed away at 94 years of age. His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a statement saying that he and first lady Auxilia Mnangagwa were “greatly saddened” to hear of the former president’s death.
“Ex-president Mugabe was a great Zimbabwean who gave many years of dedicated service to our country,” Mr Mnangagwa said.
“The Zimbabwean people will always admire Robert Mugabe’s devotion to duty, his personal character, and the honorable conduct of his administration. We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our longest serving president will always have a special place in our Nation’s memory. On behalf of all Zimbabweans, Auxilia and I offer our deepest sympathies to Grace Mugabe and all of the family. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them in the hours and days ahead,” – he concluded.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe, 94, was the longest serving President of Zimbabwe, serving from 1987-2017.
As one of the leaders of the rebel groups in opposition to white minority rule, he was elected Prime Minister in 1980, serving in that office as head of the government, until 1987, when he became the country’s first executive head of state.
He had led the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) since 1975.
As of August 2017, he was the world’s oldest and one of the longest serving Head of State.
His 36-year rule has been characterised by gross human rights violations, resulting in him joining the world list of dictators.
Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the conservative white-minority government of Rhodesia.