Robert Mugabe is the former President of Zimbabwe. He was the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe from 1987 to November 2017. Prior to this, he was the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe since the attainment of independence in 1980. Mugabe resigned from his presidency on the 21st of November 2017 after Zimbabwe's military took over the country in an operation dubbed Operation Restore Legacy, which they insisted was not a coup d'etat on the 14th of November 2017.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Preceded by Canaan Banana
Succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa
Personal details
Born Robert Gabriel Mugabe
February 21, 1924
Zvimba
Citizenship Zimbabwean
Nationality Zimbabwe
Spouse(s) Grace Mugabe
Children Bona Mugabe, Robert Mugabe Junior and Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe
Parents Robert Matibili Mugabe and Bona Mugabe
Residence Borrowdale Brooke, Harare
Education Kutama College, University of Zimbabwe, University of Fort Hare, University of South Africa, University of London
Alma mater University of Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Former President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Religion Christianity

In early March 2018, Mugabe was reported to be part of the National Patriotic Front political party led by Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri. The party reportedly indicated that the 'coup' was not constitutional and needed to be cleaned Mawarire Speaks On Mugabe’s Involvement In The NPF, Said We Want To Cure The Coup.

Days later, on 15 March, Mugabe held his first public interview and said that his ouster in November 2017 was a coup. He also said that he felt betrayed by Emmerson Mnangagwa. He, however, denied that he was part of the NPF party.

Contents

Background

He was born Robert Gabriel Mugabe in Matibiri village near Kutama Jesuit Mission in Zvimba district on February 21, 1924.[1] His father Robert Matibili (Malawian) who was a carpenter left for South Africa and then to Bulawayo to look for work and never came back leaving his mother Bona Mugabe to bear the burden of taking care of him alone. He is the third born of six children, two older brothers Michael and Raphael, young brother Donato and two sisters Bridget and Sabina.

He married Sally Mugabe nee Hayfron in 1961 and together they had one son Michael Nhamodzenyika who died in his infancy. Sally died of kidney failure in 1992 prompting Mugabe to marry Grace Mugabe nee Marufu who was his secretary in 1996. The couple has three children who are Bona Mugabe, Robert Mugabe Junior and Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe.[2]

Educational Background

He did his secondary school at Kutama College.He has 16 degrees, 9 of which he studied for and 5 honorary degrees.

General Career

He became a lecturer at Chalimbana Teacher Training College in Zambia from 1955 to 1958 before joining St Mary's Teacher Training College in Ghana where he served as a lecturer from 1958 to 1960.

Political career

Political ideology

It was reported that from a very young age, he was greatly inspired by Marxist and nationalist views and soon, became the publicity secretary of the National Democratic Party or the ‘NDP’. Once he established a strong political foothold, he founded the socialist-nationalist movement, ‘ZANU’ which resolved to drive the British out of their homeland. Despite being detained by Rhodesian authorities for his radical activities, Mugabe remained calm and took an oath to deliver his people from the talons of foreign brutality.[4]

Positions Held

  1. Chairman on Politics And Security Organisation on Defence South African Development Community (1996 - 2001)
  2. Social Development and Community Services, South Africa (1995 - 2005)
  3. Chairman of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (1991 - 1994)
  4. Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement(September 1986 - September 1989)
  5. Secretary General of the ZANU (1975)
  6. Editor of The Democratic Voice (now People Voice)
  7. First Secretary of ZANU-PF
  8. Deputy Chair of Africa Union

War Credentials

He crossed to Mozambique to join the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) in 1975 after his 10 year detention at the hands of Ian Smith.[5]

1980 Prime Minister Elect

General elections were held in Southern Rhodesia in February 1980 to elect a government which would govern the country after it was granted independence as Zimbabwe, in accordance with the conclusions of the Lancaster House Agreement. The result was a victory for the Zimbabwe African National Union, which won 57 of the 100 seats. Its leader, Robert Mugabe became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe when the country officially became independent in April.

1987 Unity Accord

The Unity Accord was an agreement between Zimbabwe's two major nationalists movements namely the Zimbabwe African People's Union led by Joshua Nkomo and the Zimbabwe African National Union led by Robert Mugabe. The agreement was signed on 22 December in 1987 to form a united nationalist political party and end the ethnic violence which had marred the country since the early 1980s.

Policies adopted by Robert Mugabe

Free Primary Education-1980

In 1980, education was declared a basic human right by Robert Mugabe, which changed the constitution to recognize primary and secondary public education as free and compulsory.Due to large investments in education since independence, Zimbabwe has the highest adult literacy rate in Africa which in 2010 was 92 %. [6]

Adoption of Economic Structural Adjustment Progamme-1990]]

In the year 1980, Zimbabwe's leader Mugabe started a program for post-war reconstruction. In 1990, one of the most famous policies by Mugabe was the 5-year plan - ESAP. The ESAP included policies such as:


Land Reform

Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1980 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, as an effort to more equitably distribute land between Black subsistence farmers and White Zimbabweans of European ancestry, who had traditionally enjoyed superior political and economic status. The programme's targets were intended to alter the ethnic balance of land ownership.


Fast Track Land Reform Programme-2000

Pro-Mugabe Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) organized several people (including but not limited to war veterans; many of them were their children and grandchildren) to march on white-owned farmlands, initially with drums, song and dance. This movement was officially termed the "Fast-Track Land Reform Program" (FTLRP). Mugabe endorsed the process and even blocked the judiciary from intervening.

Quitting The Commonwealth

In 2003 Mugabe announced that Zimbabwe was quitting the Commonwealth following the decision made at the Abuja summit in Nigeria, to maintain Zimbabwe's suspension indefinitely.

Mugabe attacks Commonwealth Official Video

Mugabe Appointed African Union Chair

Mugabe was elected chairperson of the Continental Block the African Union in January 2015. He was appointed during one of the continental body's extraordinary sessions held at the Union's Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mugabe succeeded Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz at the start of a two-day AU summit meeting. Mugabe's appointment came at a time when Zimbabwe was faced with a number of problems including the economy. The continent was also haunted by the Ebola virus in West Africa as well as the Boko Haram militants which had terrorized Nigeria.

Mugabe had previously been elected as chairman in South Africa in 1997 when the African Union was still known as the Organisation of African Unity.

Major Successes

He is credited with raising the literacy rate to 98% in the 1990s becoming one of the highest in the world. In 2010 Zimbabwe's literacy rate (92%) was ranked the best in Africa by the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) Digest.[7] His land reform programme saw many landless natives benefitting with over 1 million blacks replacing the 400,000 white farmers.[8]

Succession Saga and Factions

It was reported that there were two main factions in the Zanu -PF political party, one led by the then Vice President Joice Mujuru and another by the then Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. The two factions were reported to be garnering to replace Robert Mugabe. The former which was also known as the moderator attempting to push Zanu-PF politics to the political center ground. This was reportedly done to create relations with the international community. Mnangagwa's faction also known as the 'hardliners' comprised of 'old guard' with members that have dominated Zimbabwe’s political scene since the 1980s.[9] Some of the members allegedly supported Mnangagwa are Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Chinamasa. Mujuru was reportedly backed by Didymus Mutasa.[10] A faction called G40 was characterized by younger Zanu-PF members who are educated. The group was reportedly led by Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, and Patrick Zhuwao but was believed to be led by Grace Mugabe.

Assassination Allegations

At the height of factional fights in the Zanu- PF party, the Mujuru faction was accused of a number of crimes which warranted dismissal from both party and government. Besides the corruption allegations leveled against the then Vice President, assassination allegations were also revealed by the state media (The Sunday Mail). The state media pointed out Joice Mujuru to be the figure behind the assassination plot.

The Sunday Mail, claimed Joice Mujuru one of two front-runners to succeed the 90-year-old leader, was "at the center" of the plan led by two of her allies in the party.[11]

Failures

Mugabe has been blamed for most of the economic challenge that befell the country especially in the period after 2000. One of the major criticisms leveled against him was his hurried land reform program which plunged the country into a decade of economic recession, decline of industrial production, agriculture and hyper-inflation. The land reform program was said to have ushered in massive abuse of human right especially by member of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association. Robert Mugabe was also blamed for Operation Murambatsvina which rendered thousands of urban dwellers homeless.

Alleged Non-War Credentials

In March 2018, it was reported that Victor Matemadanda released an audio which indicated that Robert Mugabe was never a soldier and did not hold any gun during the liberation struggle [12]

"Mugabe Must Go Demo" in Zambia

Mugabe came face to face with growing regional disapproval in Zambia. On the 24th of January 2015, he was faced with a demonstration in Zambia after he had gone to witness the inauguration of Zambian president Lungu. The demo attracted the attention of both local and international media since the event was attended by leaders from all over the world.[13]

Mugabe Must Go Video

On 4 February 2015, Mugabe fell on the red carpet soon after addressing his party supporters at the Robert Mugabe International Airport after returning from Ethiopia where he had ascended to the position of Chairperson. State media reported that it was a minor carpet mishap while on social media animated pictures of his fall went viral.[14]

Appointment as WHO Goodwill Ambassador

On 19 October 2017, President Robert Mugabe was appointed as the first Goodwill Ambassador on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The announcement was made by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO Global Conference on NCDs in Uruguay.


However, this resulted in a lot of criticism from Zimbabweans as well as non-Zimbabweans. On 21 October, Dr Ghebreyesus said he was rethinking the appointment. He tweeted:

I’m listening. I hear your concerns. Rethinking the approach in light of WHO values. I will issue a statement as soon as possible

On Sunday, 22 October, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that it was rescinding the appointment. In a statement, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:

Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result, I have decided to rescind the appointment.

I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns and heard the different issues that they have raised. I have also consulted with the Government of Zimbabwe and we have concluded that this decision is in the best interests of the World Health Organization.

Expelling his Deputies

Joice Mujuru expulsion

In December 2014 Robert Mugabe expelled his Vice President Joice Mujuru who he had appointed in 2004 a move which supported the Zanu Pf's quota system of at least one female in the Presidium.Mugabe fired Mujuru and purged those who were thought to be Mujuru's allies.Muabe claimed that Mujuru wanted to unseat him through unconstitutional means and the press had it that allegations of an assassination plot were also leveled against Mujuru and her allies.Another allegation was that Mujuru was fanning factionalism and promoting corruption within the Government and the party.

Emmerson Mnangagwa expulsion

In the early weeks of November 2017, Mugabe expelled his longtime top ally Emmerson Mnangagwa after waging a series of attacks on him at youth interface rallies held across Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa was expelled on the basis that he was, dishonest, disloyal, deceitful and Unreliable. Mnangagwa was also accused of fanning factionalism and leading the Lacoste Faction which insulted Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe.

Resignation

After Operation Restore Legacy started, massive protests occurred in the streets of Harare with citizens demanding Mugabe's resignation. Despite all the protests and the military intervention he still refused to resign. An impeachment hearing was called against him and on 21 November 2018 through the speaker of parliament a letter read

My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of people in Zimbabwe and my desires to see a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power.

Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by the constitution.

Yours faithfully, Mugabe.

Alleged Involvement in the National Patriotic Front

Robert Mugabe was alleged to be involved in the National Patriotic Front led by the Retired General Ambrose Mutinhiri. Mugabe was reported to have endorsed the party and met with the leader. The spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire indicated in an interview that they needed to clean the coup.Below is the video of the interview

Africa Tonight: Zimbabwe to host harmonised elections this year


Alleged plot to ouster Emmerson Mnangagwa

In 2018 before the harmonised election it was alleged that Mugabe wanted to ouster Mnangagwa through endorsing Nelson Chamisa. Multiple sources alleged that Mugabe sent emissaries to Chamisa seeking dialogue ahead of the polls and that he was willing to back Chamisa because he was not happy with how the Mnangagwa led government was treating him and his family.[15]


29 July 2018 Interview

Robert Mugabe complained about his pension and terminal benefits saying that he was given only $467 000 after all his time in service. Mugabe disputed the $10 million figure and said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration had refused to give him money for two houses, which he claimed he is entitled to. Mugabe also said,

If you are put in a place, a high place where you are the President of a country there are rules that must guide you. You don’t get the rules from those who are ambitious and will come sit next to you and say so and so is not good, so and so is a hypocrite. You must obey the rules.

I say so because after I had resigned, I had to go to the pension office, to those who manage it, to say what am I entitled to? They said it’s $467,000, the total amount. But people talk about $10 million. They said you are entitled to two houses, one in Zimbabwe and one elsewhere at a resort. Those in power just went mum, they just refused to give me money for the two houses.

This one in which we are, we built slowly with a Yugoslav company. We told them we don’t have money to pay you fully but we would each month pay your workers and that’s what we are able to do. So, slowly year by year we managed to construct it, and that’s how we finished it. We wanted it to be Chinese-style because China helped us a lot during our struggle.

The Yugoslavs used normally trusses, not the Chinese way. The roof is beginning to sag, they say in two years’ time take care, you must get out. So we said we need the money, give us money to move out, but they are mum, they won’t tell you outright. Here and there I must say they have helped us charter flights to Singapore where doctors check us regularly, we thank them for that.
[16]

Allegations against Emmerson Mnangagwa

Mugabe described his former aide for almost 54 years, Emmerson Mnangagwa as a very hard worker who is not to be trusted because he is not quite honest. Mugabe said that he was not going to vote Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF because they had tormented him.

Mugabe said,

He’s a good worker. A very, very good worker. But it’s not always that he told me the truth, so in some places I did not believe what he told me…When we had some Indians doing our business, M&S, Kondozi Farm and some companies for the party. He was working with them. We had a tour to know what their efforts had yielded, in monetary terms we were not getting anything and Mujuru said we must investigate, this man is a crook. When we started our investigations we discovered that he had got some money from them without it having come from the party. I asked him why? He said he had just borrowed it and he wanted to pay school fees for his kids, but the money was never paid back. So I got to know that my man was not quite honest, and he had indicated to me that it’s not all he tells me that is the truth. But I worked with him, we did some good things with him. I also didn’t know he was eyeing my position until quite late, but well, there it was. I was a fool to have him next to me because he connived with Chiwenga to oust me. They decided the best way to get rid of him is to undertake a coup d’etat.
[17]

Revealing resignation plans

Robert Mugabe claimed that he was going to hand over power until the Zimbabwe Defence Forces launched a military coup against his rule. Mugabe claimed that he had planned to officially step down at the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress which was scheduled for December 2017. Mugabe also disputed claims that he wanted to leave his wife Grace as his successor arguing that he had already identified former Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi as his heir apparent. He went on to say that Sekeramayi and Mnangagwa would have competed for leadership at the Zanu PF Congress.[18]

Repeating Grace Mugabe’s Allegation That Mnangagwa Started Plotting In 1980

Mugabe said that since 1980 he has had misgivings about Mnangagwa and repeated allegations which were first made by former first lady Grace Mugabe, at a Church Interface Rally in November 2017. Grace claimed then, that Mnangagwa has always been plotting against Mugabe and tried to engineer a coup in 1980. Mnangagwa allegedly lied to Mugabe that white people were trying to kill him in order to get him out of the country so that he could take power unencumbered.

July 2018 interview

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Casting Ballot in Highfield -2018 election

In 2018 Robert Mubabe cast his vote in his Highfield constituency.

Places Named after Robert Mugabe

Outside of Zimbabwe, there is:

[19]


Trivia


Books


Some Articles About Robert Mugabe

We Won’t Fire Mugabe From Zanu-PF Despite His Support For The Opposition: Mnangagwa Fri Aug 10 2018

Douglas Mwonzora Sought Meeting With Mugabe: Mawarire Responds To Kiss Of Death Comment Mon Aug 6 2018

I Think Mugabe Is A Kiss Of Death: Chamisa’s Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora Mon Aug 6 2018

See more news on Robert Mugabe

References

  1. Robert Mugabe Biography Bio, Retrieved: June 30, 2014
  2. Bridget Johnson, Robert Mugabe About.com Retrieved: June 30, 2014
  3. Mugabe, Whoswho Southern Africa, Retrieved: June 30, 2014,
  4. [1], Robert Mugabe Biography , Published: 20 September 2017, Retrieved: 22 November 2017
  5. Erin, Robert Mugabe African Seer, Published: October 24, 2012, Retrieved: June 30, 2014
  6. [2], Zimbabwe leads in Africa literacy race , Published:July 14 2010 , Retrieved: 22 November 2017
  7. Zimbabwe shines with the world’s best literacy rate in Africa Zim Eye, Published: July 15, 2010, Retrieved: June 30, 2014,
  8. Ian Scoones, Challenges the myths about Zimbabwean agriculture and land reform Livelihoods After Land Reform Published: September 15, 2008, Retrieved: June 30, 2014
  9. Editor, Understanding the ZANU-PF succession: Mugabe’s choice likely to be decisive, 'African Arguments', Published: 7 Jan 2014
  10. Clayton Masekesa, Mujuru will succeed Mugabe — Mutasa, 'The Stadard', Published: 12 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 25 Apr 2014
  11. P. Thornycroft, Zimbabwe's vice-president in plot to kill Robert Mugabe, "The Telegraph", published:16 Nov 2014,retrieved:16 Nov 2014"
  12. Audio: War Veterans Claim Mugabe Never Underwent Military Training, Say He Never Held A Gun During The War, Pindula News, Published: 12 March 2018, Retrieved: 12 March 2018
  13. , Video: ‘Mugabe must go’ demos rock Lusaka,NewsDay, published:26 Jan 2015, retrieved:26 Jan 2015"
  14. , Mugabe fall trends on Twitter across Africa,NewsDay, published:5 Feb 2015,retrieved:5 Feb 2014"
  15. Fresh Mugabe plot to derail Mnangagwa - The Standard, The Standard, retrieved: 27 Jun 2018
  16. I Only Got US$467 000 Pension, Not US$10 Million Complains Mugabe ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, published: 29 Jul 2018, retrieved: 29 Jul 2018
  17. Mnangagwa Is A Very Good Worker But He Is Dishonest: Mugabe ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, published: 29 Jul 2018, retrieved: 29 Jul 2018
  18. I Was Going To Resign In December At Congress, Sekeramayi Was My Designated Successor: Mugabe ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, published: 29 Jul 2018, retrieved: 29 Jul 2018
  19. ZIMBABWE'S MUGABE ADDS UNIVERSITY TO LONG LIST OF THINGS NAMED AFTER HIM , , Published: 19 May 2017 , Retrieved: 20 February 2018