Robert Mugabe has been the repressive dictator of Zimbabwe since December 31, 1987. Zimbabwe was previously a British colony, Southern Rhodesia, and a short-lived Republic, known as Rhodesia. He violently oppresses anyone who opposes his government. He has cracked down on dissidents and violently seized farms- seizures that led to much of the land becoming desolate as those who took the land knew about guns, not farming. A black nationalist, he eventually established one-party rule in his country, becoming Executive President of Zimbabwe in 1987 with his Marxist "Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front" (ZANU-PF).
In his 27 years in power, he has gone from the poster boy for the "New Africa", ruled by educated, democratic leaders, to the bottom of the heap. Under his rule the health and well-being of his people have dropped dramatically, with his arbitrary arrests and torture of anyone considered to be an opponent. According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe has the world’s shortest life expectancy - 37 years for men and 34 for women. It also has the greatest percentage of orphans, about 25%, says UNICEF, and the worst annual inflation rate. Mugabe last won a "free" election in 2002 but “won” only after having his leading opponent arrested for treason. Mugabe attempted to oust Morgan Tsvangirai from the political scene in 2008, however he failed and Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai, but refused to step down. The Zimbabwe parliament has forced Mugabe to accept Tsvangirai as his Prime Minister, a post Mugabe previously removed. [Who says?]
Rise to Power
Mugabe came into power after being one of the rebel leaders who fought against Rhodesia's white government. The various rebel groups, although not necessarily ZANU, were given training, arms and political support by China, the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, Mozambique, Tanzania, Cuba, Libya, Ethiopia and the Communist Party of Great Britain. The UK and the UN did nothing, as Ian Smith, the Rhodesian government leader, had done absolutely nothing to endear himself to the world. Indeed, when faced with the prospect of having to grant equal rights and representation to the country's black citizens, he had responded by unilaterally declaring independence from Great Britain. Eventually, the British did step in and negotiated the Lancaster House agreement, which brought full democracy to Zimbabwe. Mugabe won the subsequent election - which was free and fair - by some margin, thus beginning his rule over the country.
Similar to many dictators Robert Mugabe has a personality cult. Nearly every major city and villiage in Zimbabwe contains a Mugabe road. Many Schools that had distinctly western names were changed to Robert Mugabe Academy or similar variations.
Although nominally Marxist, Mugabe's policies are best described as the policies of extreme self-interest, where everything and anything goes as long as it serves to preserve his grip on power. The democratic process has been reduced to a farce by ballot stuffing and voter intimidation, his redistribution of land from farmers to his cronies and supporters has resulted in disastrously low harvest, and his refusal to accept aid, advice or criticism from outside have led to a cholera epidemic and an annual inflation rate of approximately 516,000,000,000,000,000,000%. Violence and fear have become ingrained into everyday life in the country, and all who oppose him are tarred with the tag of subversives and dealt with in brutal fashion.
- Date of Birth: 21/02/1924
- Place of Birth: Kutama Mission, Zvimba
- Country of Residence: Zimbabwe
- Nationality: Zimbabwean
- Father's Name: Gabriel Mugabe
- Mother's Name: Bona Shonhiwa
- Spouse's Name: Grace Marufu
- Marriage Date: 00/08/1996
- Children: 2 sons, 1 daughter
- School: Kutuma Mission School
- Son of a village carpenter
- Trained as a teacher in a Roman Catholic mission.
- Bachelor of Arts University of Fort Hare Education 1951
- Bachelor of Science University of London - UOL Economics
- Master of Science University of South Africa Economics
- Bachelor of Law University of South Africa
- Master of Laws University of South Africa
- Bachelor of Administration University of South Africa
- Bachelor of Education University of South Africa
- "The only white man you can trust is a dead white man."
- "We are no longer going to ask for the land, but we are going to take it without negotiating."