Notorious former Zimbabwe prime minister Robert Mugabe has died aged 95.
After widespread reports the President of the African republic Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa confirmed the news on twitter.
He wrote: “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe.
“Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people.
“His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest eternal peace.”
ZimLive first reported the death of the man who led the country during two spells from 1980 to 2017.
This led to an outpouring of tributes to the former prime minister and president, who was said to have passed away in a Singapore hospital after battling ill health.
Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director for Human Rights Watc, said Mugabe’s nephew told him about the former Prime Minister’s death.
Mavhinga added that three ex-ministers who served in Mugabe’s cabinet then confirmed the news.
The message confirming his death said: “Gushungo is no more. Rest in Peace Sekuru.”
Gushungo is Mugabe’s clan name and Sekuru means uncle”.
Fadzayi Mahere the secretary for education for the opposition party MDC Zimbabwe tweeted: “Rest In Peace, Robert Mugabe.
“My response to your passing is complicated. I’m going to write a long piece.
“However, for now, deepest condolences to his family.”
Controversial Mugabe was accused of vote rigging, intimidation and embezzlement before being booted from power in 2017 after a military coup.
However the Zimbabwean leader was given the royal treatment on his state visit to the UK 25 years’ ago, including a carriage ride with the Queen and a lavish banquet.
The invitation was extended despite his reported involvement in the deaths of 10,000 people during a crackdown of opposition parties.
In 2017 Mugabe was controversially granted immunity from prosecution – with cast-iron assurances that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of the deal that led to his resignation.
Mugabe, then 93, told negotiators he did not want to live in exile and wanted to die in Zimbabwe.
Emmerson “The Crocodile” Mnangagwa, the former vice president sacked by Mugabe earlier that month, was then sworn in. (Courtesy Mirror.co.uk)