President Uhuru Kenyatta has conveyed his deepest sympathies and condolences to the government and the people of the republic of Zimbabwe following the death of former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
In a statement Friday, the president said his thoughts and prayers go out to his family, relatives and the people of Zimbabwe who, for many years, he served with commitment and dedication.
The President further said he lacked words to convey the magnitude of the loss as former President Mugabe was an elder statesman, a freedom fighter and a Pan-Africanist who played a major role in shaping the interests of the continent.
“Indeed, we will remember former President Mugabe as a man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular.”To his family, the Government and the people of Zimbabwe, may the Almighty God comfort you and may the soul of former President Mugabe rest in eternal peace.” He said.
Mugabe has died at the age of 95 in Singapore where he had gone to seek treatment.
He was the country’s first post-independence leader and has been battling ill health.
Mugabe was ousted from power in a military coup in November 2017, ending his three-decade reign.
Zimbabwe’s Education Secretary Fadzayi Mahere confirmed Mugabe’s death in a tweet: “Rest In Peace, Robert Mugabe.”
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli said Mugabe was a brave leader who stood against colonialism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang and Mpho Balopi, Secretary General, Botswana Democratic Party also mourned the death of Mugabe.
Robert Mugabe was born in 1924 in the then British-ruled Southern Rhodesia. He was educated in Catholic schools and attended South Africa’s University of Fort Hare between 1940s-1950s.
He taught in Zambia and Ghana, where he was influenced by African independence movement leaders. In 1960s, Mugabe campaigns for Zimbabwe’s independence and was imprisoned in 1964 for political agitation.
While incarcerated, he earned two law degrees from the University of London External Programme. He was released from prison in 1974 and fled to Mozambique where Zimbabwe African National Union guerrilla fighters elect him to lead their struggle against white minority rule.
In 1980, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party won independent Zimbabwe’s first election. He took office as Prime Minister on April 18. He changed the constitution in 1987 and became President with sweeping executive powers and signed a unity pact with his liberation war rival Joshua Nkomo, who became one of his two deputies.
In 1998, an economic crisis marked by high interest rates and inflation sparked riots and in 2000, Mugabe lost a referendum to change the constitution.
Thousands of independence war veterans and their allies, backed by the government, seized white-owned farms in the same year. Mugabe was ousted in 2017 by his long-time ally President Emmerson Mnangagwa.