In pictures: The life of Robert Mugabe

In pictures: The life of Robert Mugabe
Source: BBC
Date: 11-09-2019 Time: 08:09:24:pm

Robert Mugabe holds a press conference as newly elected prime minister of Zimbabwe, March 6th 1980
Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) leader Robert Mugabe was elected prime minister after the end of white minority rule in the former British colony of Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe).

The Prince of Wales (left) with Robert Mugabe (second left), Prime Minister of the newly independent Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), Joshua Nkomo and Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington during a dinner at Government House in Salisbury (now Harare)
Mugabe was the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence. He is seen here, (second from left) in March 1980, with the Prince of Wales, Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu) leader Joshua Nkoma and Britain's Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington.

Robert Mugabe (left) and Joshua Nkomo at Lancaster House, London.
He came to prominence as one of the leaders of a guerrilla war against white minority rule, along with Joshua Nkomo (right). The pair later fell out.

Margaret Thatcher and Robert Mugabe in 1980
Mugabe, seen here with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980, initially pursued a policy of reconciliation with his white former enemies, letting them keep their economic wealth.

Zimbabwean President Canaan Banana (left) and President Robert Mugabe, 1986
Mugabe ruled alongside President Canaan Banana until 1987, after which he took over the role of president.

Visiting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace tour the Temple of Litterature in Hanoi, 2001
Some Zimbabweans say things started going wrong when he married his young secretary, Grace, in 1996. The pair are seen here while on a tour of Vietnam in 2001.

US President Bill Clinton points to items of interest on the White House grounds to President Robert Mugabe, 1995
In 1995 Mugabe met US President Bill Clinton, but back home the economy slumped. He faced new opposition but he came out fighting.​​​​​​​

Tony Blair chats with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe 24 October 1997 in Edinburgh, before the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
Mugabe reverted to the mentality of the guerrilla fighter, blaming his problems on white Zimbabweans and Britain, the former colonial power.​​​​​​​

Robert Mugabe greets Zanu PF followers on his arrival for a rally in the city of Mutare some 290 km east of the capital Harare, 09 June 2000
From 2000 onwards, former guerrillas rallied behind their leader and became a militia force.​​​​​​​

A group of 150 so-called war veterans overran the Dean farm overnight, southeast of Harare, 24 April 2000, torched the entire tobacco crop and tried to burn workers alive, beating them as they fled their burning homes.
They attacked opposition activists and spearheaded the seizure of white-owned farms.​​​​​​​

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, 2003
More than 100 people were killed in two violent election campaigns, which left Mugabe in power but complaining of a Western plot to undermine him.​​​​​​​

Robert Mugabe addresses a church service in Bulawayo, 3 March 2008
A staunch Catholic, he said his prayers had been answered with the "defeat" of his enemies and the seizure of most white-owned land.​​​​​​​

A Zimbabwean shows his ballot for the presidential election run-off at a polling station in Harare on June 27, 2008.
As Zimbabwe's economy went from bad to worse to disastrous in the 2000s, Mugabe's political and physical demise was predicted many times. In March 2008, his future looked more uncertain than ever as Zimbabweans voted in presidential elections.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai arriving at hospital to receive treatment for injuries sustained in an anti-government rally, 2007
After failing to win enough votes to avoid a run-off with opposition challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe displayed characteristic defiance, swearing "only God" could remove him from office. In the event, in the face of increasing political violence from ruling party supporters, Mr Tsvangirai pulled out.

Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai shake hands
The economic meltdown continued, and Mugabe agreed to share power with his long-time rival, who became prime minister.​​​​​​​


Robert Mugabe, walks after delivering an address to the United Nations General Assembly at UN. headquarters 22 September 2011, New York City
Although predictions of Mugabe's demise always proved premature, the mounting pressures took their toll. In 2011, a US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks suggested he was suffering from prostate cancer.​​​​​​​

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe in the 22nd African Heads of State Conference on February 21, 2003 in Paris, France
This stoked numerous media reports about his health. "I have died many times - that's where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once," he said on his 88th birthday.

Robert Mugabe, 1976
Robert Mugabe, 1924 - 2019​​​​​​​