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10 things you may not know about late Robert Mugabe



The man Mugabe was

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, has died, but his country, and the African continent will definitely remember him for many things.

Aged 95, the ZANU founding father is reported to have died after battling ill health.

Born on 21 February 1924, in what was then Rhodesia, young Mugabe was once imprisoned for over ten years without trial for daring to criticise the government of the day.

While in prison, he, and others formed the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) in 1973, with which he later became president of the country.

After ruling for about 30 years, Mugabe was removed from power in a military coup in November 2017.

10 things you may not know about late Robert Mugabe

 The death of one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents, Robert Mugabe has been announced to the surprise of many who followed his over three decades of leading Zimbabwe as its number one citizen.

Mugabe, who is regarded as Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, died aged 95 at a private hospital in Singapore after a long battle with an undisclosed illness.

The demise of Mugabe who had been in hospital in Singapore since April, was confirmed by his family to the BBC. He was ousted in a military coup in November 2017, ending three decades in power.

He won Zimbabwe’s first election after independence, becoming prime minister in 1980. He abolished the office in 1987, becoming president instead.

His successor, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, expressed his “utmost sadness”, calling Mr Mugabe “Zimbabwe’s founding father” and “an icon of liberation”.

Below is a compilation of ten things you may not know about the late Robert Mugabe, whose controversial land reform programme sparked an economic collapse and his latter years were marked by rights abuses and corruption.


  1. He was knighted by the Queen of England. Elizabeth II awarded Mugabe a Grand Knight Cross in the order of the Bath in 1994 for his role in the development of Zimbabwe/UK relations, but this was subsequently revoked.


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  1. His father, Gabriel Matibili, was a carpenter from Nyasaland (later Malawi), who abandoned the family.


  1. Robert Mugabe was not in favour of “scruffy” reggae musician Bob Marley playing at the independence celebrations in 1980, preferring the more clean-cut Cliff Richard.


  1. In 2000 he won 100,000 Zimbabwe dollars in a lottery arranged by a partly stated-owned bank.


  1. In 2013, Mugabe’s net worth was estimated at US$10-million.


  1. He was once nominated for the Nobel Prize and was awarded the Chinese equivalent in 2015.


  1. Mugabe has served as both chair of the Organisation of African Unity and the African Union. He shares this distinction with Congolese Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso.


  1. Although he is a great cricket fan, he played tennis at school.


  1. He fathered his last child, Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe when he was 73 years old.


  1. At 93, he is the oldest head of state on earth.




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