Zimbabwe Ex-President Dies: Robert Mugabe Biography, Wiki, Age, Family, Net Worth, Fast Facts You Need to Know

Robert Mugabe Biography

Robert Mugabe Biography

Robert Gabriel Mugabe was a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017. He chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) group from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), from 1980 to 2017. Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist. He identified as a socialist after the 1990s. His policies have been described as Mugabeism.

Mugabe was born to a poor Shona family in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia. Following an education at Kutama College and the University of Fort Hare, he worked as a school teacher in Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Ghana. Angered that Southern Rhodesia was a colony of the British Empire governed by its white minority, Mugabe embraced Marxism and joined African nationalist protests calling for an independent state led by representatives of the black majority. After making anti-government comments, he was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974. On release, he fled to Mozambique, established his leadership of ZANU, and oversaw ZANU’s role in the Rhodesian Bush War, fighting Ian Smith’s predominantly white government. He reluctantly took part in the peace negotiations brokered by the United Kingdom that resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement. The agreement ended the war and resulted in the 1980 general election, at which Mugabe led ZANU-PF to victory. As Prime Minister of the newly renamed Zimbabwe, Mugabe’s administration expanded healthcare and education and—despite his professed Marxist desire for a socialist society—adhered largely to mainstream, conservative economic policies.

Robert Mugabe Age

He was 95 years old.

Robert Mugabe Early life

Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 at the Kutama Mission village in Southern Rhodesia’s Zvimba District. His father, Gabriel Matibiri, was a carpenter while his mother Bona taught Christian catechism to the village children. They had been trained in their professions by the Jesuits, the Roman Catholic apostolic order which had established the mission. Bona and Gabriel had six children: Miteri (Michael), Raphael, Robert, Dhonandhe (Donald), Sabina, and Bridgette. They belonged to the Zezuru clan, one of the smallest branches of the Shona tribe.

Robert Mugabe Wife/Children

According to Holland, Mugabe’s first wife, Sally Hayfron, was Mugabe’s “confidante and only real friend”, being “one of the few people who could challenge Mugabe’s ideas without offending him”.

Their only son, Michael Nhamodzenyika Mugabe, born 27 September 1963, died on 26 December 1966 from cerebral malaria in Ghana where Sally was working while Mugabe was in prison. Sally Mugabe was a trained teacher who asserted her position as an independent political activist and campaigner.

Mugabe called on Zimbabwe’s media to refer to his wife as “Amai” (“Mother of the Nation”), although many Zimbabweans resented the fact that she was a foreigner. She was appointed as the head of ZANU-PF’s women’s league, and was involved in a number of charitable operations, although was widely regarded as corrupt in these dealings. During Mugabe’s premiership she suffered from renal failure, and initially had to travel to Britain for dialysis until Soames arranged for a dialysis machine to be sent to Zimbabwe.

While married to Hayfron, in 1987 Mugabe began an extra-marital affair with his secretary, Grace Marufu; she was 41 years his junior and at the time was married to Stanley Goreraza. In 1988 she bore Mugabe a daughter, Bona, and in 1990 a son, Robert The relationship was kept secret from the Zimbabwean public, although Hayfron was aware of it. According to her niece Patricia Bekele, with whom she was particularly close, Hayfron was not happy that Mugabe had an affair with Marufu but “she did what she used to tell me to do: ‘Talk to your pillow if you have problems in your marriage. Never, ever, humiliate your husband.’ Her motto was to carry on in gracious style”. Hayfron died in 1992 from a chronic kidney ailment.

Following Hayfron’s death in 1992, Mugabe and Marufu were married in a large Catholic wedding ceremony in August 1996. As First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace gained a reputation for indulging her love of luxury, with a particular interest in shopping, clothes, and jewelry. These lavish shopping sprees have led to her receiving the nickname “Gucci Grace”. She too developed a reputation for corruption. In 1997, Grace Mugabe gave birth to the couple’s third child, Chatunga Bellarmine.

Robert Mugabe Junior and his younger brother Chatunga Bellarmine are known for posting their lavish lifestyle on social media, which has drawn accusations from Tendai Biti that they are wasting Zimbabwean taxpayers’ money.

Teaching career: 1945–1960

During the following years, Mugabe taught at various schools around Southern Rhodesia, among them the Dadaya Mission school in Shabani. There is no evidence that Mugabe was involved in political activity at the time, and he did not participate in the country’s 1948 general strike. In 1949 he won a scholarship to study at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

Robert Mugabe Death, Robert Mugabe Cause of Death

Robert Mugabe, whose brutal rule of Zimbabwe turned his country into an international outcast and left it mired in corruption, violence and economic crisis, has died at the age of 95.

His death in Singapore, nearly two years after he was toppled from power, was confirmed this morning by current President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Reports in Zimbabwe say he died with his hated wife Grace at his side.

Mugabe had been in poor health, admitted to hospital in early April, apparently unable to walk and pictured looking extremely frail in photos alongside his son which may be the last ever taken of him.

Just a few weeks ago he reportedly asked to be buried next to his mother Bona on the family farm near Harare. He had refused a burial at the Heroes Acre, a North Korean-built monument where graves are waiting for him and his wife.

Mugabe was hailed by several African leaders today, many of whom stood by him despite the brutality of his regime. Mnangagwa hailed Mugabe as an ‘icon of liberation and said his ‘contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten’.

Robert Mugabe Quotes

  • The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.
  • Our votes must go together with our guns. After all, any vote we shall have, shall have been the product of the gun. The gun which produces the vote should remain its security officer – its guarantor. The people’s votes and the people’s guns are always inseparable twins.

Fast Facts You Need to Know

  • Robert Mugabe died in hospital with his hated wife Grace reportedly by his side 
  • Current President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed the news of his death today 
  • He ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was toppled in a military coup in 2017
  • Initially hailed as a liberator, Mugabe left Mugabe mired in violence and economic crisis after purging thousands of his political enemies
  • He became a pariah in the West after violently seizing white-owned land