Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe dies aged 95

Robert Mugabe, former prime minister and president of Zimbabwe whose rule was mired in accusations of human rights abuses and corruption, has died aged 95.

His 40-year leadership of the former British colony was marked with bloodshed, persecution of political opponents and vote-rigging on a large scale.

Current president Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed the death, calling Mr Mugabe a "pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people".

He said: "Cde 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."

Born in then Rhodesia, Mr Mugabe co-founded the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1963, a resistance movement against British colonial rule.

He was jailed for anti-government comments between 1964 and 1974.

He became prime minister in 1980 of the new Republic of Zimbabwe and assumed the role of president seven years later.

Robert Mugabe dies
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Robert Mugabe dies
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left is greeted by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Downing Street, on his first official visit to Britain.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Francis Pym, the Foreign Secretary, at Downing Street, on his first official visit to Britain.
Lady Soames, widow of Lord Soames, at her husbands funeral at All Saints Curch, Odiham with Robert Mugabe (right) and his wife Sally Mugabe. Lord Soames a former governor of Rhodesia, aided Mugabe in the early days of his countries independence.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, before a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at Chequers, when the African leader visited on the way back from the United Nations General Assembly.
England captain Mike Atherton with President Robert Mugabe after they met at the Second Test match venue at Harare Sports club. Picture David Giles/PA
Michael Atherton introduces the England players to President Robert Mugabe during the lunch break in Harare. l-r Graham Thorpe, Alec Stewart, Ronnie Irani
Prime Minister Tony Blair (Left) and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe hold bilateral talks at the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh today (Friday).
The Royal Family and the Prime Minister with the delegates from 51 of the 54 Commonwealth States at Holyroodhouse after the opening day of the Commonwealth Summit in Edinburgh.
The Queen with South African President Thabo Mbeki during the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban, South Africa (seated behind the Queen is Robert Mugabe). * 28/9/01: Re-issued.

In 2000 he led a campaign to evict white farmers from their land, which was given to black Zimbabweans, and led to famine.

Mugabe retained a strong grip on power, through controversial elections, until he was forced to resign in November 2017, at age 93.

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