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[Unforgettable timelines]: Facts on Mugabe’s lives and times

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Robert Mugabe, former President of Zimbabwe and one of the longest serving presidents African Continent has produced died early hours of Friday at the age of 95 in Singapore while receiving medical care.

Following are key facts about the life of the former leader.

1924 – Mugabe was born on Feb. 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. He teaches in Zambia and Ghana, where he is influenced by African independence movement leaders.

1960s – Mugabe campaigned for Zimbabwe’s independence.

1964 – He was imprisoned for political agitation. While in incarceration, he earned two law degrees from the University of London External Programme.

1974 – He was released from prison, escaped to Mozambique where Zimbabwe African National Union guerrilla fighters elect him to lead their struggle against white minority rule. A number of rivals die in suspicious circumstances, rights groups say.

1980 – Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party won independent Zimbabwe’s first election and took office as prime minister on April 18.

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

1987 – He became president with sweeping executive powers after changes to the constitution and signed a unity pact with Nkomo, who became one of his two deputies.

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

1998 – An economic crisis marked by high interest rates and inflation sparked riots.

2000 – Zimbabweans rejected a new constitution in a referendum, Mugabe’s first defeat at the ballot box. Thousands of independence war veterans and their allies, backed by the government, seized white-owned farms, saying the land was illegally appropriated by white settlers.

2001 – The United States put a financial freeze on Mugabe’s government in response to land seizures, beginning a wave of Western sanctions. Mugabe’s relationship with the West, especially the U.S. and Britain, never recovered.

2002 – Mugabe won a disputed presidential vote, which observers condemned as flawed. Zimbabwe was suspended from the British Commonwealth over accusations of human rights abuses and economic mismanagement. Mugabe pulled his country from the grouping the following year.

2008 – Hyperinflation reached 500 billion percent, the nadir of an economic implosion that forces millions of people to leave the country, many to neighboring South Africa. Mugabe lost a presidential vote but won the run-off after opponent Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew, citing violence against his supporters by security forces and war veterans. A power-sharing agreement was signed.

2010 – Media reports said Mugabe was seriously ill with cancer. Speculations continued in following years.

2013 – Mugabe won another disputed presidential vote. Western observers cited multiple accounts of electoral fraud.

2016 – Protesters led by a pastor staged the biggest show of defiance against Mugabe in a decade, prompting speculation about life after the veteran leader.

2017 – Mugabe was forced to resign in November following an army coup and was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the man he had fired as his deputy two weeks earlier.

2018 – Mugabe was seen in public for the first time since leaving power.

He berated his former ZANU-PF allies and backed opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on the eve of an election.

2019 – Mugabe traveled several times to Singapore to seek medical treatment as pictures of the gaunt, gray-haired former leader circulated on social media.

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