Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, has died aged 95.

He died after battling ill health, his family confirmed to the BBC. Mr Mugabe had been in hospital in Singapore since April.

He won Zimbabwe’s first election after independence, becoming prime minister in 1980. He abolished the office in 1987, becoming president instead.

His successor, Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa, expressed his “utmost sadness”, calling Mr Mugabe “Zimbabwe’s founding father” and “an icon of liberation”.

Mr Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924, in what was then Rhodesia.

He was imprisoned for more than a decade without trial after criticizing the government of Rhodesia in 1964.

In 1973, while still in prison, he was chosen as president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu), of which he was a founding member.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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