World News

Former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe dies at the age of 95

Key Points
  • Robert Mugabe was the first post-independence leader of Zimbabwe.
  • He was forced to resign in 2017, following a coup which saw the military take control of the country after he was placed under house arrest.
Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
Tafadzwa Ufumeli | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has died, according to a tweet by his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday. He was 95.

"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.

Tweet: Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace

Mugabe died after battling ill health, the BBC reported on Friday, citing his family.

He was the first post-independence leader of Zimbabwe, and took power in 1980 after the white minority rule ended.

Discontent spread toward the end of his rule amid economic turmoil that were worsened by international sanctions. Large street protests for his resignation spread and impeachment procedures by the parliament took place, ending with a coup that saw the military take control of the country after Mugabe was placed under house arrest. 

His 37-year rule concluded in 2017 when he was forced to resign.

Mugabe was known, both at home and overseas, as a power-hungry autocrat. When he finally resigned, there were wild celebrations in the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. Mnangagwa succeeded him in November 2017.

The ailing Mugabe spent his remaining years shuttling between medical facilities in Singapore and his mansion in Harare, Reuters reported, saying the former oppressor died in Singapore.

— Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.