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Former Zimbabwean dictator dies

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/06/19, 11:20 am

Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe’s independence fight and was forced out of office after three decades as president, has died. He was 95 and had been receiving medical care in Singapore. His successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, called Mugabe an “icon of liberation” in a tweet on Friday.

What was his legacy? Zimbabweans once celebrated Mugabe for helping to end white minority rule. He became Zimbabwe’s first prime minister in 1980 and was elected president in 1987. Mugabe often used violence to silence his political opponents. His last years as president saw rising discontent over economic failings and internal leadership struggles within the ruling Zanu-PF party. He finally stepped down in 2017 after the military seized control of the capital city.

Dig deeper: Read Susan Olasky’s obituary of Mugabe for WORLD Magazine, which describes him as “not a good gentleman.”

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 09/06/2019 02:56 pm

    Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, the current President appears to be not much of an improvement. 

    In the world as a whole, benevolent governments and majority rule seem to be the exception. We need to be mindful that our American system of government, despite its faults, is a great gift.