Reign ended with 2017 military coup after 3 decades in power
Robert Mugabe, the longtime leader of Zimbabwe who was forced to resign in 2017 after a military takeover, has died at 95.
His successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, confirmed Mugabe’s death in a tweet Friday, mourning him as an “icon of liberation.”
The former president died at the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore on Friday, according to the city-state’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had been seeking medical treatment for an undisclosed illness in Singapore in recent months.
Zimbabwe declared Mugabe a national hero several hours after his death was announced, with Mnangagwa saying the country would be in national mourning until his burial.
The ex-guerrilla chief presided over a country whose early promise post-independence was eroded by economic turmoil and allegations of human rights violations.
Mugabe blamed Zimbabwe’s economic problems on international sanctions and once said he wanted to rule for life. But growing discontent about the southern African country’s fractured leadership and other problems prompted a military intervention, impeachment proceedings by the parliament and large street demonstrations for his removal.
The announcement of Mugabe’s Nov. 21, 2017 resignation after he initially ignored escalating calls to quit triggered wild celebrations in the streets of the capital, Harare. Well into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his years in power and reflected hopes for a better future.