Former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe has died aged 95, the country’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on his official Twitter account.
Mugabe died in Singapore, where he has often received medical treatment in recent years. “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Robert Mugabe,” a post on Mnangagwa’s official presidential Twitter account said.
In November, Mnangagwa said Mugabe was no longer able to walk when he had been admitted to a hospital in Singapore, without saying what treatment Mugabe had been undergoing. Officials often said he was being treated for a cataract, denying frequent private media reports that he had prostate cancer.
Mugabe, who ruled the southern African nation for nearly four decades since independence from Britain in 1980, was forced to resign in November 2017 after an army coup.
He was feted as an African liberation hero and champion of racial reconciliation when he first came to power in a nation divided by nearly a century of white colonial rule.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Government and people of Zimbabwe over the passing of the founding father and former President, Robert Mugabe. The President, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday, commiserated with family members, friends and political associates of the late political activist.
President Buhari noted that Mugabe fought for the independence of his country from colonial rule and lived most of his life in public service. According to him, Mugabe’s sacrifices, especially in the struggle for the political and economic emancipation of his people, will always be remembered by posterity.
He prayed that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the former president rest and comfort his loved ones
China in a condolence message described Mugabe as an “outstanding” leader of his nation’s liberation movement. “Throughout his life, he firmly defended the sovereignty of his country, opposed foreign interference and actively promoted the cooperative relationship between China and Zimbabwe and China and Africa,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says.
Zimbabwe’s current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who announced the death on Twitter, praised Mugabe for his role in the liberation of his country from white-minority rule.
“His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Mnangagwa tweeted.
A statement from neighbouring South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, said Mugabe epitomised the “new African – who, having shrugged off the colonial yoke, would strive to ensure his country took its rightful place amongst the community of nations: firmly in charge of its own destiny.”
Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa extended his condolences to the Mugabe family on his official Twitter account, saying that even though they had their differences and “disagreed for decades” the party recognised his contribution during his lifetime. Britain, with whom Mugabe had a tempestuous relationship, did not immediately release an official statement.