Robert Gabriel Mugabe, former Zimbabwean president has died at the age of 95.
He reportedly died in a hospital in Singapore on Friday morning.
Here are 10 things you probably do not about the man who held sway in the former British Colony for 37 years.
- Born on February 21, 1924, into a Catholic family at Kutama Mission northwest of Harare, Mugabe became a schoolteacher at the age of 17.
- He enrolled at Fort Hare University in South Africa, where he met many of Southern Africa’s future black nationalist leaders.
- After teaching in Ghana, where he was influenced by President Kwame Nkrumah, Mugabe returned to Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia with his first wife Sally Francesca Hayfron, a Ghanaian. He later married Grace Marufu, after Sally died of cancer. They both had three children together.
- In 1964, after making a speech in which he called Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and his government “cowboys”, Mugabe was arrested and detained for over 10 years.
- During his incarceration, he gained three degrees through correspondence, but the years in prison left their mark. His four-year-old son by his first wife, died while he was behind bars. Rhodesian leader Ian Smith denied him leave to attend the funeral.
- Known for his radicalism, Mugabe was chosen as president of Zanu even though he was in prison in 1973 and upon his release from prison, he went to Mozambique and directed guerrilla raids into Rhodesia.
- He swept to power in the 1980 elections after a growing insurgency and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.
- In 1992, he introduced the Land Acquisition Act, permitting the confiscation of land without appeal. Most of the affected persons were the white farmers, who still owned the bulk of the country’s best land. This policy wrecked the crucial agricultural sector, caused foreign investors to flee and helped plunge the country into economic misery.
- In February 2016, Mugabe announced that he would be in power “until God says ‘come’”. Tired of his autocracy, the Zimbabwe National Army on November 15, 2017, placed Mugabe under house arrest and, four days later, was replaced by his former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe would not resign until November 21 of 2018 when a motion to impeach him was being debated in the Zimbabwean parliament.
- He had been rumored for years to have prostate cancer, but according to the official account, his frequent trips to Singapore were related to his treatment for cataracts.