Robert Mugabe was a Zimbabwean politician and the former president of the nation. He was one of the longest-serving leaders in Africa, and the oldest president in the world before he was forced to resign.
Robert Mugabe’s Bio & Education
Born Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the former leader popular for his sit-tight autocratic government, was born on February 21, 1924, in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He was the son of a village carpenter and was trained as a teacher in a Roman Catholic mission school. After mission school, Mugabe went into nationalist politics while he was a student at the University College of Fort Hare, South Africa.
Robert Mugabe completed his Economics degree in 1958 but kept on teaching in a school in Ghana until 1960. He also taught at St. Mary’s Teacher Training College where he met his first wife, Sarah Heyfron. The became friends and later married in 1961.
He returned to Rhodesia in 1960, and in 1963 he helped the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole to form the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) but his political career actually began when he joined the National Democratic Party, which then became the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU). He was there for a while before he founded the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). The two parties, ZAPU and ZANU clashed, which resulted in the party’s leaders, and Robert Mugabe serving a time in jail.
While he was incarcerated in Wha Wha prison, then the Sikombela, and then finally Salisbury prison where he served the majority of his prison sentence, he earned two law degrees; a BSc, Bachelor of Law and MSc Master of Law. He earned these degrees from the University of London’s external program. Besides these degrees, Mugabe earned thirteen Honorary LLD, D. Com and D. Tech degrees, with three of the LLD degrees, revoked.
After serving ten years in jail, Robert Mugabe was voted leader of ZANU, before forming a militant faction of the party. He was later elected Prime Minister of the first government of Zimbabwe, with ZANU winning the majority of the seats in the new Parliament, and under his rule, the two feuding political parties formed the conjoined Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
Robert Mugabe abolished the position of Prime Minister in 1987, and assumed the position of President of Zimbabwe. He held this position from 31st December 1987 to 21st November 2017 when he finally resigned.
His Net Worth
A report written ten years earlier by the U.S. embassy in Harare was published by Wikileaks in 2011. According to the report, the full extent of Mugabe’s assets was not known but was rumoured to be more than $1 billion in value, the majority of which are likely invested outside Zimbabwe.
The report further said that the overseas assets, according to rumours, was made up of everything from the Channel Islands, the secret accounts in Switzerland, and the Bahamas to castles in Scotland.
However, more recent reports have it that Mugabe amassed a net worth of $10 million (£7.5 million) which majorly came from the fortune he made from the nation’s diamond deposits.
Opposition politicians alleged that the Mugabes own 14 farms in the country. The best known is the Omega Dairy farm, one of the largest dairy farms in southern Africa.
Robert Mugabe’s Family: Wife and Children
Mugabe was married twice in his lifetime. His first wife, Sally Hayfron, died in 1992 after a protracted illness and on 17 August 1996, Mugabe married a second wife, his former secretary, Grace Marufu, who is 41 years his junior. They had two children together.
The couple began their affair when they were both still married to their former spouses. Grace first became pregnant for Mugabe while she was still with her first husband, Stanley Goreraza, who is now a diplomat in China.
Mugabe is survived by three biological children (one girl and two boys): Bona Mugabe (from the first wife), Robert Peter Mugabe Jr. (from the first wife) and Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe (from the second wife). The former president’s last son was born in 1997 when Mugabe was already 73 and his wife 38.
He also had one stepson with Grace Mugabe, Russell Goreraza.
Robert Mugabe House & Cars
Having made a lot of money from being the leader of Zimbabwe, Mugabe had much to show for it. In Zimbabwe, the Mugabes are said to have six residences including his abode known as ‘The Blue Roof’ which is said to be extraordinarily opulent and worth more than about $10 million (Sh1 billion). The house has 25-bedrooms, 2 lakes which sits on a 44 acre of landscaped grounds and one massive dining with enough space to accommodate 30 people. The presidential palace also features an outdoor swimming pool with roman style architecture and a large master bedroom with king-sized bed.
Mugabe’s home was reportedly built by a company from Serbia and designed by a Chinese company.
Robert Mugabe also owned a luxury Mercedes Benz S600L Pullman which was custom-built in Germany and armoured to a B7 Dragunov standard. This means that the car could withstand any projectile or hand grenade. The floor, roof, windows and petrol tank of the car were specially fortified, being the most vulnerable parts of the vehicle. The tyres on the vehicle are designed to travel further 50km if punctured by a bullet and the driver can speak to people outside without turning down the window.
Mugabe’s S600L Pullman features a head-up display, magic vision control, heated windscreen washer, night view assist, seat heating plus, split view, a six-disc CD/DVD player, and a wi-fi hotspot.
Although the cost of Mugabe’s vehicle is difficult to know because it was a personal transaction of which the details were highly confidential, Mercedes Benz Germany website revealed that an S600L Pullmann costs $1.2 million.
Is Robert Mugabe Dead?
Robert Mugabe was one man who died over and over again in the media but continued to live in the real world for decades. There were several rumors of his death due to the fact that his health had been unstable, probably as a result of old age.
Speaking when he turned 88, Mugabe said he died many times “that’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once.” But you don’t cheat death forever.
In April 2019, news emerged that Mugabe was back in Singapore for medical treatment. He had been on such trips for a while but he didn’t make it back this time as he died there on 6 September 2019. The longtime autocratic ruler died at the age of 95.
Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Robert Mugabe
1. The very first unknown fact about President Robert Mugabe is that he was religious. Born near the Kutama Jesuit Mission, he grew up in a religious household. Both of his parents were Roman Catholics, he studied in Marist Brothers and Jesuit schools, including the exclusive Kutama College.
2. While serving as Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe allowed thousands of Matabeleland natives to be killed, due to political tensions between him and his opposing political party, which resulted in the formation of the one big Zimbabwean political party – but not without the cost of over 20,000 lives.
3. President Robert Mugabe was awarded Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II for improving relations between Britain and Zimbabwe, but this was revoked in 2008 due to his abuse of the basic human rights of his citizens, and his total disregard for the democratic process which his presidency had ruled over. So, on 25 June 2008, the Queen of England cancelled and annulled the honorary knighthood after advice from the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. “This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided”
4. Robert Mugabe has been viewed as being racist towards white people and targeting white citizens in various ways. Along with this, due to his religious views, he’s opposed to LGBT rights in Zimbabwe, banning homosexual acts within the country, and stating that homosexuals were “worse than dogs and pigs”.
5. According to CNN reports, on February 2010, Mugabe celebrated his 86th birthday with a lavish party, costing a reported $300,000.
6. On December 17, 2010, Mugabe threatened to seize all Western-owned investments in Zimbabwe unless their governments remove targeted sanctions imposed on him and his senior party members.
7. Lastly, though he was known internationally for being cruel and tyrannical towards his people, the country of Zimbabwe has a 90% literacy rate – the highest for any African country as of 2008. This is due largely to Robert Mugabe’s passion for education, and his past history for learning to become a teacher and teaching fellow inmates how to read while he was incarcerated.
Robert Mugabe Quotes
“The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.”
“The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans.”
“I have died many times. I have actually beaten Jesus Christ because he only died once.”
“We don’t mind having sanctions banning us from Europe. We are not Europeans.”
“So, Blair keep your England, and let me keep my Zimbabwe.”
“The land is ours. It’s not European and we have taken it, we have given it to the rightful people… Those of white extraction who happen to be in the country and are farming are welcome to do so, but they must do so on the basis of equality.”
“We are no longer going to ask for the land, but we are going to take it without negotiating.”
“Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy!”
“We of Africa protest that, in this day and age, we should continue to be treated as lesser human beings than other races.”
“In most recent times, as the West started being hostile to us, we deliberately declared a Look East policy.”
“We are not hungry… Why force this food upon us? We don’t want to be choked. We have enough.”