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The former president of Zimbabwe has died

Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, has died on Friday aged 95 in Singapore. He had been in hospital since April.

"Cde  (Comrade) 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," his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter.  He was one of the engineers who built the foundations of modern-day Zimbabwe. Despite Zimbabwe's decline during his rule, Mugabe remained defiant, railing against the West for what he called its neo-colonialist attitude and urging Africans to take control of their resources.

Mugabe-during-presidency
Mugabe during presidency

Robert Mugabe was a complex and complicated man. He ruled Zimbabwe since liberation from white colonial rule in 1980 until he was overthrown in a de facto coup in November 2017. His near 40-year legacy of leadership has evoked mixed reactions from ordinary Zimbabweans. "President Mugabe was a divisive figure in his life and is likely to remain dividing opinion even in his passing. His last major political activity was that of casting a vote for change in Zimbabwe. After leaving power he voted for the MDC, but there are many in the opposition who will not be inclined towards him and there are many who will see him for the colours he projected," Nkululeko Sibanda, the spokesperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said. A decision is yet to be pronounced on whether the former president will be accorded state honours.

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