A once-celebrated leader of Zimbabwe has died.
Robert Mugabe, the country’s former president who was ousted from power two years ago, has passed away at the age of 95, according to the BBC.
In 2017, Mugabe was ousted from his role as president of Zimbabwe, a title he held for almost four decades. But while he was considered an oppressive leader, it wasn’t always that way.
In the early days of his presidency, Mugabe was celebrated as the man who brought both education and health care to the black community in his country.
Mugabe first came to notoriety for protesting the leadership of what was then known as Rhodesia. For this, he ended up being put in prison for more than 10 years without a trial.
While still in prison, Mugabe was elected president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu).
Once he was released from prison, he left for Mozambique. He then oversaw guerilla raids from there, which eventually led to the creation of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
When the first election of the new Republic took place in 1980, Mugabe was the overwhelming victor.
But as Mugabe’s political career continued, his reputation as a liberator waned, and he became more known for his oppressive ways — and the fact the economy of his beloved country was in ruins.
While his base never seemed to drift, onlookers became very critical, with some referring to him as a dictator.
He was finally ousted from power in 2017. His deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, took over the role of president.
While he passed away far from the land he liberated from oppression — and later, ruled with a strong hand — Mugabe’s body will be returned to Zimbabwe for burial.