Timeline: Everything to know from infancy till age 95 about Zimbabwe's late president Robert Mugabe

Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe died in the early hours of Friday, September 6, 2019. Here's everything to know about the man who spent 95 years on earth.

Former President Robert Mugabe

1924 - Mugabe was born on February 21 in what was then British-ruled Southern Rhodesia.

1940s-1950s - He was educated at Catholic schools and attended South Africa’s University of Fort Hare. After his education, he became a teacher. He taught in Zambia and Ghana, where he was influenced by African independence movement leaders.

1960s - Mugabe led the campaign for Zimbabwe’s independence. He was imprisoned in 1964 for political agitation. While in prison, he earns two law degrees from the University of London External Programme.

1974 – Robert Mugabe was released from prison. He escaped to Mozambique were Zimbabwe African National Union guerrilla fighters elected him to lead their struggle against white minority rule. 


1980 - Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party won independent Zimbabwe’s first election. He was sworn into office as prime minister on April 18.

1982 - Mugabe deploys North Korean-trained troops to crush an insurgency by former guerrillas loyal to his liberation war rival Joshua Nkomo. Government forces are accused of involvement in the killing of 20,000 civilians, which Mugabe denies.

1987 – Changes are made to Zimbabwe’s constitution. Mugabe became president with enough executive powers due to the changes in the constitution. He also signed a unity pact with Nkomo, who becomes one of his two deputies.

1990 - ZANU-PF won parliamentary elections and Mugabe won the presidential elections.

1998 - An economic crisis due to high-interest rates and inflation sparked riots in Zimbabwe.


2000 - Zimbabweans rejected a new constitution in a referendum, Mugabe’s first defeat at the ballot box. 

Meanwhile, several independence war veterans and their allies, with the support of the government, seized white-owned farms, arguing that the land was illegally taken by white settlers.

2001 - The United States placed a financial freeze on Mugabe’s government due to the land seizures. This was the beginning of a wave of Western sanctions. Mugabe’s relationship with the West, especially the U.S. and Britain, never recovered.

2002 - Mugabe won presidential elections. However, observers described the election as flawed.

- The British Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe over accusations of human rights abuses and economic mismanagement. Mugabe pulled his country from the grouping the following year.


2008 - Hyperinflation reaches 500 billion percent. This caused many to leave the country mainly to neighboring South Africa.

- Mugabe lost a presidential election but won the run-off after his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew citing violence against his supporters by security forces and war veterans. A power-sharing agreement was signed.

2010 – There are media speculations which suggest that Mugabe is seriously ill with cancer. The speculation continues in the following years.

2013 - Mugabe won another disputed presidential vote. Western observers said there were multiple accounts of electoral fraud.

2016 - Protesters led by a pastor staged the biggest show of defiance against Mugabe in a decade.


2017 - Mugabe is forced to resign in November after an army coup. He is replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the man he had fired as his deputy two weeks earlier.

2018 - Mugabe is seen in public for the first time since leaving power. He berates his former ZANU-PF allies and backs opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on the eve of an election.

2019 - Mugabe traveled several times to Singapore for medical treatment.

-    He died in Singapore.


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