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21 things you may not know about late Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

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By Nwafor Sunday

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.

Mugabe was trained as a teacher

He was a catholic

Mugabe got married to Sally Hayfron, who gave birth to Michael Nhamodzenyika Mugabe, on 27 September 1963

In 1964 Mugabe was imprisoned by Rhodesian government

His only son Michael Nhamodzenyika died on 26 December 1966 from cerebral malaria in Ghana while Mugabe was in prison.

In 1980 he won post-independence elections

He ruled the country for 37 years from independence in 1980

Mugabe had an extra-marital affair with his secretary, Grace Marufu; who in 1988 bore Mugabe a daughter, Bona, and in 1990 a son, Robert.

Following Hayfron’s death in 1992, Mugabe and Marufu were married in a large Catholic wedding ceremony in August 1996.

In 1997, Grace Mugabe gave birth to the third child, Chatunga Bellarmine.

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In 2000 he lost referendum, pro-Mugabe militias invade white-owned farms and attack opposition supporters

In 2008 Mugabe became second in first round of elections to Tsvangirai who pulls out of run-off amid nationwide attacks on his supporters

Robert Mugabe clears the way for Grace Mugabe as his successor

In 2009 amid economic collapse, sworn in Tsvangirai as prime minister, who served in uneasy government of national unity for four years

In 2017 he sacked a long-time ally Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, paving the way for his wife Grace to succeed him

However, in November 2017 Army intervened and forced him to step down

Mugabe died on the 6th of September 2019.

Mr Mugabe’s early years were praised for broadening access to health and education for the black majority but his later years were marked by rights abuses and corruption.

He won Zimbabwe’s first election after it secured independence from the UK, becoming prime minister in 1980.

He abolished the office in 1987, becoming president instead.

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