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Mugabe’s long career in pictures

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Mugabe's long career in pictures


Mugabe’s long career in pictures – BBC News

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Robert Mugabe at the University of Harare being awarded Doctor Honoris Causa in July 1984Image copyright
AFP

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Robert Gabriel Mugabe was educated at a mission school and went on to train as teacher, graduating from Fort Hare university where Nelson Mandela studied. In 1958, he went to work in Ghana

Sally Hafron circa 1955 (L), Robert Mugabe in 1976 (R)Image copyright
AFP

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There he met Sally Hafron whom he married in 1961. She was actually more political than him before he was recruited by black nationalists. He was later imprisoned by the Rhodesian government, but was not allowed to attend the funeral of his son

Robert Mugabe (left) and Joshua Nkomo at Lancaster House, London.Image copyright
Getty Images

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After his release from jail in 1974, he came to prominence as one of the leaders of a guerrilla war against white-minority rule, along with Joshua Nkomo (left)

A fighter who supports the Patriotic Front carrying bullets and a machine gun, smiles during the general elections, March 04, 1980 in Lupane campImage copyright
AFP

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They agreed to disarm at peace talks hosted by the British. They formed the patriotic front – and to the surprise of Western observers won elections held in February 1980 by a landslide

Robert Mugabe holds a press conference as newly elected prime minister of Zimbabwe, March 6th 1980Image copyright
Getty Images

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Robert Mugabe had arrived in the country only six weeks before the election, after spending 10 years in exile. He became prime minister, forming an inclusive government

Cuban President Fidel Castro (C) shares a laugh with Zimbabwean President Canaan Banana (R) and Zimbabwean Prime minister Robert Mugabe (L) as he arrives in Harare, Zimbabwe - 31 August 1986Image copyright
AFP

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During his first years in office, he was feted by leaders across the world, including Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who visited the country in 1986

Margaret Thatcher and Robert Mugabe in 1980Image copyright
PA

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He also had a close relationship with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – and initially pursued a policy of reconciliation with his white former enemies, letting them keep their economic wealth

President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace leave parliament in their ceremonial car after its official opening, Harare - 22 July 2003Image copyright
AFP

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He married his typist Grace Marufu, with whom he already had two children, in 1996 a few years after his first wife died. The 1990s also saw the country’s intervention in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which proved costly to the economy

Schoolchildren by a farm 40km east of Harare, renamed "Black Power Farm" by war veterans who have taken it over - 21 June 2000Image copyright
AFP

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When Tony Blair’s UK government pulled out of talks to fund a controversial land reforms in 1997 and after Mr Mugabe lost a referendum on a new constitution three years later, pro-Mugabe militias began to invade white-owned farms

President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace arrive for a rally in Gweru, Zimbabwe -1 September 2017Image copyright
Reuters

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It was around this time that Mr Mugabe abandoned his Savile Row and safari suits in favour of brightly coloured attire emblazoned with his face when he was on the campaign trail

Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe holds 83 balloons in front of relatives and friends at his official residence in Harare, Zimbabwe - 21 February 2007Image copyright
AFP

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It became a cult of personality, and big celebrations were organised by the ruling Zanu-PF party each year to mark his birthday…

President Robert Mugabe's birthday cake in the shape of the map of Africa during celebrations marking his birthday at the Great Zimbabwe monument in Masvingo - 27 February 2016Image copyright
AFP

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These included extravagant cakes. This one reflects how many Africans regarded him as a hero, admiring his stand against white farmers

Posters for President Robert Mugabe are covered with graffiti for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Harare, Zimbabwe - 27 June 2008Image copyright
AFP

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However, his popularity, especially in urban areas, steadily declined at home – and he lost for the first round of the presidential election in 2008, winning the run-off after the opposition MDC withdrew, citing violence

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (L) and his wife Grace (R) with first-born child and only daughter Bona Mugabe (C) leaving a graduation ceremony at MDIS-University of Wales graduation ceremony in Singapore - 16 November 2013Image copyright
AFP

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Sanctions imposed by the US and EU prompted Mr Mugabe’s “Look East” policy, turning to China for investment. He used to travel to Asia for medical treatment – his daughter Bona (C) studied in Hong Kong and Singapore

Protesters hold banners and crosses during a march against the introduction of new bond notes and youth unemployment in Harare, Zimbabwe - 3 August 2016Image copyright
AFP

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His Zanu-PF party won elections in 2013, after four years of a power-sharing government, on a platform of indigenisation – a policy of ceding economic control to black Zimbabweans. Crippling cash shortages led to protests in 2016

Zimbabwean troops holding a portrait of President Robert Mugabe parade in Harare, on April 18, 2008 during celebrations marking the country's 28th anniversary of independenceImage copyright
AFP

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However, the security forces always stood by Mr Mugabe – until his wife’s ambition for power proved too much for them to stomach and they launched a takeover on 15 November 2017

Robert Mugabe at a graduation ceremony - November 2017Image copyright
AFP

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They were anxious that it not look like a coup, and Mr Mugabe carried on with some of his duties – though his age showed as he appeared to doze during a graduation ceremony

Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe resigns in Harare, Zimbabwe November 21 2017Image copyright
Reuters

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But after a mass demonstration and amid impeachment proceedings, the 93-year-old leader bowed to pressure. He resigned after 37 years in power – prompting wild celebrations.

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