Mugabe dead
Late Mugabe/File Photo

As the world mourns the passing of the heavyweight politician from Africa, following are key milestones in the life of Zimbabwe’s former leader, Robert Mugabe, Concise News reports.

1924 – Born on February 21 in what was then British-ruled Southern Rhodesia.

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1940s-1950s – Educated at Catholic schools and attended South Africa’s University of Fort Hare.

Taught in Zambia and Ghana, where he was influenced by African independence movement leaders.

1960s – Campaigned for Zimbabwe’s independence and imprisoned in 1964 for political agitation.

While incarcerated, he earned two law degrees from the University of London External Programme.

1974 – Released from prison, escaped to Mozambique were Zimbabwe African National Union guerrilla fighters elected him to lead their struggle against white minority rule.

A number of rivals died in suspicious circumstances, rights groups said.

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

1982 – 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 – 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.

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 group the following year.

2008 – Hyperinflation reached 500 billion percent, the nadir of an economic implosion that forced 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, speculation that continued in following years.

2013 – Mugabe won another disputed presidential vote.

Western observers site 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 – Forced to resign in November following an army coup and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the man he had fired as his deputy two weeks earlier.

2018 –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.