Robert Mugabe, Former President of Zimbabwe, Dies at 95

FILE – In this file photo dated Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma, at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, South Africa. In a statement Sunday Oct. 22, 2017 World Health Organization director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus announced he has decided to revoke his appointment of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe as a “goodwill ambassador” after the choice drew widespread international criticism. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, FILE)

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, has died aged 95.

He died after battling ill health, his family confirmed to the BBC. Mr Mugabe had been in hospital in Singapore since April.

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.

Mugabe’s early years were praised for broadening access to health and education for the black majority. But his controversial land reform programme sparked an economic collapse and his latter years were marked by rights abuses and corruption.

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

Mr Mnangagwa had been Mr Mugabe’s deputy before replacing him.

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SOURCE: BBC News