The Life and Times of Robert Mugabe

By Evans Mathanda and Kudzai Kuwaza
1924: Mugabe is born in Kutama;

1940-1950: Mugabe is educated at Catholic schools and later South Africa’s Fort Hare University;

Between 1956 and 1960: He teaches in Ghana;

1960: Returns to Rhodesia;

1963: Mugabe helps Ndabaningi Sithole to form the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) as a breakaway from Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu);

1964: Mugabe campaigns for Zimbabwe’s independence;

1964: Mugabe is arrested for “subversive speech” and spends the next 10 years in prison;

1974: He is released from prison;

1977: Mugabe is elected Zanu leader at Mgagao;

1979: Mugabe and Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo sign the Lancaster House Agreement in December resulting in a ceasefire in the protracted war for liberation and paving way for democratic elections;

1980: Mugabe’s Zanu PF wins independent Zimbabwe’s first election and he enters office as Prime Minister on April 18;

1980-1987: Mugabe serves as Zimbabwe’s prime minister;

1982-1987: Mugabe deploys North Korea-trained troops to crush an alleged insurgency by former guerrillas who were loyal to his liberation war rival Joshua Nkomo. The government was accused of killing 20 000 civilians, which Mugabe denied;

1987: He signs the Unity Accord with Joshua Nkomo, bringing an end to the genocide;

1987: Mugabe changes the country’s constitution to become executive president of Zimbabwe;

1990: Mugabe and Zanu PF win presidential and parliamentary elections;

1992: His wife Sally dies;

1996: Mugabe marries Grace Marufu;

1997: Mugabe allocates unbudgeted monetary compensation packages to war veterans with each veteran getting $50 000 which resulted in the plummeting of the local currency in November which has become known as Black Friday;

2000: Zimbabweans reject a new constitution in a referendum

2000: Mugabe commences a violent and chaotic land reform programme in which he says is meant to correct the unresolved colonialist legacy by giving white-owned farms to landless black people;

2002: Mugabe wins a disputed presidential vote, which observers condemn as flawed;

2008: Mugabe loses the first round of the presidential vote to opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but wins the run-off on the back of a brutal campaign of terror which results in Tsvangirai withdrawing from the race. The opposition party claims that more than 200 of its members were killed during the presidential run-off campaign;

2009: He forms a Government of National Unity with Tsvangirai after mediation by then South African president Thabo Mbeki;

2013: Mugabe wins another disputed presidential election signalling the end of the inclusive government;

2017: Mugabe fires Emmerson Mnangagwa from Zanu PF and government;

2017: Mugabe is forced to resign on November 21, after a military coup paving way for Mnangagwa’s rise;

2018 (May): Mugabe accuses Mnangagwa of tormenting him and his family

2018: Mugabe indicates he will vote for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in the July 30 polls;

2019: Mugabe dies in Singapore.

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