Monday, July 18, 2022

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1924 – 2019)

Robert Mugabe, in full Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia on February 21, 1924.

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 came home. Mugabe's mother, a teacher, was left to bring up Mugabe and his three siblings on her own.

Mugabe graduated from Katuma’s St. Francis Xavier College in 1945. He worked as a primary school teacher before going to South Africa’s University of Fort Hare, then a breeding ground for African nationalism. It was at Fort Hare that Mugabe read Marxist literature, exchanged ideas with South African communists, and came into contact with the youth wing of the African National Congress, the vanguard of the anti-apartheid movement.

He then returning to then-Rhodesia in 1960, he entered politics but was jailed four years later for opposing white rule. He spent 11 years as a political prisoner under Ian Smith’s Rhodesian government.

Upon his release from prison, he crossed the border into Mozambique to join what had become a militant wing of the liberation struggle. He rose to the top of the powerful Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, known as the “thinking man’s guerrilla” on account of his seven degrees, three of them earned behind bars.

Robert Mugabe became prime minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 and served as the country's president from 1987 until his forced resignation in 2017. His term as presidency ended amid chaos after he was first placed under house arrest by the Zimbabwean army on November 15, 2017, before being sacked as leader of the ZANU-PF party and threatened with impeachment if he did not resign.

Mugabe died in Singapore, where he has often received medical treatment.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1924 – 2019)

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