Robert Mugabe was the world’s oldest head of state at the age of 93 until Tuesday when he opted to resign after close to four decades of rule in the southern African nation.
Trouble began for Mugabe last week when he appeared to be positioning his wife, Grace, to succeed him after he sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The military then ‘seized power’ in a show of displeasure by the turn of events leading to the ruling party ZANU-PF demanding Mugabe steps down or face impeachment. The war veterans also chipped in.
Mugabe has been the only president Zimbabwe has had since independence from Britain in 1980.
Here is a timeline of Mugabe’s rise to power in Zimbabwe.
1924: Mugabe was born in Kutama, northwest of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare in what was then known as Southern Rhodesia which was under British colony.
1950-1952: Mugabe while at school always wanted to become a politician as he was influenced by the story of the Indian independence movement, including Gandhi and Nehru.
1960: After teaching in what was then Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Ghana, Mugabe returned to Southern Rhodesia.
1963: Mugabe and many of his allies were arrested by Ian Smith’s regime. At this time he had already formed the Zimbabwe African National Union, now ZANU-PF.
1975: After he was released from prison, Mugabe left his country for Mozambique which had attained independence at the time.
1976: Mugabe had no choice than to form an alliance with Joshua Nkomo following pressure from African leaders.
1979: The British-brokered peace talks paved way for an independent state of Zimbabwe, setting the stage for a national election. At this time, Mugabe returned home from exile.
1980: Mugabe named prime minister after independence elections.
1982: Military action begins in Matabeleland against perceived uprising; government is accused of killing thousands of civilians.
1987: Mugabe changes constitution and becomes president.
1994: Mugabe receives honorary British knighthood.
2000: Land seizures of white-owned farms begin, Western donors cut off aid.
2005: United States calls Zimbabwe an “outpost of tyranny.”
2008: Mugabe and opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai agree to share power after contested election, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth annuls Mugabe’s honorary knighthood.
2011: Prime Minister Tsvangirai declares power-sharing a failure amid violence.
2013: Mugabe wins seventh term, opposition alleges election fraud.
2016: #ThisFlag protest movement emerges, independence war veterans turn on Mugabe, calling him “dictatorial.”
2017: Mugabe begins campaigning for 2018 elections.
6 Nov: Mugabe fires deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, appearing to position first lady Grace Mugabe for vice president post.
15 Nov: Army announces it has Mugabe and his wife in custody as military appears to take control.
18 Nov: Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans march against Mugabe.
19 Nov: Ruling party Central Committee tells Mugabe to resign as president by noon on Monday or face impeachment. He addresses the nation but does not step aside.
21 Nov: Mugabe resigns amid plans to begin impeachment process against him by the parliament. His resignation brings to an 37 years reign.
© Associated Press, New York Time, The Predictor