Feared and revered: must-read stories on Robert Mugabe

06 September 2019 - 10:21 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Robert Mugabe's reign was long and controversial.
Robert Mugabe's reign was long and controversial.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

Zimbabwe's controversial former president Robert Mugabe has died at the age of 95.

TimesLIVE reported that Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore surrounded by family including his wife Grace.

Here are five must-read stories on Mugabe:

Before death

In August, Mugabe made headlines after a recent picture of him looking frail surfaced on social media. The picture was reportedly shared by his son Robert Mugabe Jr.

His successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the 95-year-old Mugabe had been receiving medical care for an undisclosed ailment and was responding well.

Land grab

In 2000, Mugabe implemented a sweeping land grab of white-owned farms, prompting Western donors to cut off aid among other debilitating sanctions.

TimesLIVE reported that a few remaining white commercial farmers were living in terror as pressure mounted for them to make way for new black landowners.

Under cover of darkness, hired thugs were deployed in farming areas to intimidate and hound farmers off their land.

Violence and corruption

In 2002, after winning the elections, speculation that he had stuffed the ballot box led the EU to place an arms embargo and other economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Determined to win, it was alleged that Mugabe did so by any means necessary including violence and corruption.

Refusal to hand over power

In 2008, when he lost the presidential election to Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposing Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Mugabe was unwilling to let go of the reins and demanded a recount.

His refusal to hand over presidential power led to another violent outbreak that injured thousands and resulted in the deaths of 85 of Tsvangirai's supporters.

TimesLIVE reported that Mugabe and Tsvangirai later agreed to a power-sharing deal.

Making Zimbabwe his personal property

In 2017, war vets vowed to stop Mugabe from making Zimbabwe his personal property.

This after Christopher Mutsvangwa held a media conference in Johannesburg and said Mugabe was never a revolutionary‚ instead he was a mere poster boy of the struggle and a “deceitful” person.

“As war veterans we are clear that we are fighting Mugabe and his dynastic cabal that have captured the revolutionary party and in the process have led to an economic meltdown‚” he said.

Zimbabwe's first post-independence leader, Robert Mugabe, died at the age of 95 on September 6 2019 while in hospital in Singapore.

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