Timeline of Mugabe’s 37-year rule in Zimbabwe
Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party’s reign over Zimbabwe stretched back to when the country first gained independence from Britain.
Until he resigned on Tuesday, Mugabe had successfully fended off numerous challengers to keep himself in charge of his party and the country.
Here is a brief summary:
– August 1963: Mugabe and others form the Zanu party, set up to oppose white minority rule in the British colony of Rhodesia.
– February 1980: Last national elections before Zimbabwe gains independence; Zanu-PF, a splinter faction of Zanu that is led by Mugabe, wins the most seats.
– 18 April 1980: Independence from Britain. Mugabe becomes prime minister of newly named Zimbabwe.
– February 1982: Mugabe sacks fellow independence fighter Joshua Nkomo, who is head of the Zapu party.
– 1982-1987: Mugabe launches violent campaign against suspected dissidents in Matabeleland, Nkomo’s homeland. Thousands are killed.
– December 1987: Zanu-PF and Zapu merge into one party.
– December 31, 1987:- Mugabe assumes more powerful role as president of Zimbabwe after constitution is changed and post of prime minister is abolished.
– August 1996: Mugabe marries his former secretary Grace Mufuru.
– February 2000: Mugabe suffers first electoral defeat when voters reject constitutional changes that would have given him greater powers.
File photo dated 01/10/1988 of Margaret Thatcher with Robert Mugabe, who has resigned as president of Zimbabwe.
– March 2002: Mugabe wins presidential elections against Morgan Tsvangirai, the popular leader of opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
– March 2008: General elections. Mugabe faces run-off vote against Tsvangirai, but Tsvangirai withdraws amid allegations of violence against his supporters.
– September 2008: Power-sharing agreement signed between Mugabe and Tsvingirai in the wake of the country’s economic crisis. The arrangement later falls apart.
– July 2013: General elections won in a landslide by Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
– December 2014: Mugabe sacks several ministers, including vice president Joice Mujuru over what he said was their roles in an assassination plot. His wife, Grace Mugabe, is unexpectedly named head of Zanu-PF’s Women’s League.
– November 6, 2017: Mugabe sacks fellow party veteran and vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, seen as Grace Mugabe’s key rival in race to become Zimbabwe’s next president.
– November 15, 2017: Mugabe put under house arrest during military-led coup.
– November 19: Zanu-PF executives vote to remove him as party president; he is given deadline of noon on November 20 to resign as Zimbabwe’s head of state.
– November 21: Mugabe’s resignation is announced in parliament as lawmakers begin impeachment proceedings.