Robert Mugabe family holds private ceremony in Zvimba for 100th birthday


The family of the late former Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, gathered in Zvimba for a private ceremony on Saturday to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday.

Mugabe, born in 1924, passed away in 2019 at the age of 95.

His death came after a long period of treatment in Singapore following his removal from power in a 2017 military coup, ending his 37-year rule.

He was overthrown by his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa who recently retained power for a second term in a disputed plebiscite marred by violence, intimidation and voter suppression.

Close family members and associates assembled at Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba, Mashonaland West Province, according to Jealous Mawarire, a relative and former spokesperson for the family. Among the attendees was Wonder, identified only as Mugabe’s long-time security aide.

The ceremony acknowledged Mugabe’s role in expanding access to healthcare and education for the black majority in Zimbabwe. However, his later years were overshadowed by accusations of political repression and economic decline.

Mugabe’s legacy remains deeply divided. To some, he was a ruthless dictator who should have faced punishment for human rights abuses. Others consider him a revolutionary hero who fought against racial prejudice and Western influence.

While some political commentators recognise his success in leading Zimbabwe to independence from white-minority rule, they argue that his greatest failing was clinging to power for 37 years, outmaneuvering rivals like Joshua Nkomo and Morgan Tsvangirai.

The private ceremony, held amidst contrasting views of Mugabe’s legacy, highlights the complex and controversial nature of his rule.

During the coup that ousted Mugabe in November 2017, his loyalists who included government Ministers Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Walter Mzembi fled the country when military tanks were being rolled in Harare and guns pointed at their houses.

It is believed that Mugabe negotiated their safe exit before he was forced to resign.

Kasukuwere was blocked by the courts from challenging Mnangagwa in the 2023 presidential elections.


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