Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence president, has died at the age of 95.
Mugabe’s death was confirmed by his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Friday.
“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe,” Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter.
Although the cause of death was not revealed, he was known to be ill for months and receiving treatment in Singapore.
The current president described his predecessor as “an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people”.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924, to Gabriel and Bona Matibiri in the Zvimba District of the then Rhodesia nation.
After fighting for his country’s liberation throughout the 1970s, Mugabe served as Zimbabwe’s first post-independence Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 until 2017, when he faced protest from Zimbabweans over his prolonged rule and economic crisis besieging the country.
The country’s military, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), kept him under house arrest as it tried to calm the angry protesters, while his own party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), threatened to impeach him.
He eventually handed his resignation letter to the Speaker of Zimbabwe’s parliament and was replaced by Mnangagwa, whom he had earlier sacked as his vice president in November 2017.