Robert Gabriel Mugabe died on September 6th, aged 95, after being deposed by members of his own party. On November 19, 2017, ZANU- PF deposed Mugabe as party leader and replaced him with Mnangagwa, setting a November 20 deadline for Mugabe to retire or face impeachment.
Mugabe, as tough as nails as always, was ready to weather the storm until a joint session of parliament convened ahead of his impeachment on November 21, 2017, when he issued his resignation letter.
Mugabe had been in and out of hospitals in South Africa and Singapore due to his senior age, eventually dying in a hospital bed in Singapore.TAP HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE
Mugabe is vilely represented in the western media, as one would expect of a man who enraged the British by returning land and farms taken by white owners back to black residents from the year 2000 onwards.
Given his late age, he could have handed over the reins of administration and better managed the economy, as well as built more important infrastructure.
Nonetheless, the man who spoke eloquently and dressed elegantly, and who was primarily vegetarian and abstained from wine and coffee, is credited for increasing school enrolment and expanding health care for citizens.
But how did Robert Gabriel Mugabe’ s job, love life, and political career all begin?
Mugabe grew up in Kutama village and dreamed of becoming a teacher. In 1958, he moved to Ghana, then to the Gold Coast, to teach at the Takoradi Teacher Training College, where he met and married Sally Francesca Hayfron.
She was also teaching at the school at the time, having earned her teaching certificate from Takoradi’ s St Mary’ s Trainer Coaching Faculty. After leading Ghana to independence in 1957, the two men admired Kwame Nkrumah’ s talks.
Sarah would join Mugabe to Southern Rhodesia (then known as Zimbabwe), where the couple married in Salisbury in April 1961.
Nhamodzenyika (Shona for The Troubles of My Country) was born two years after their marriage, but his joy was short- lived when he died of cerebral malaria at the age of three in Ghana.
Sarah was born on June 6, 1931, and was also known as Sally. She was a graduate of Achimota Secondary School and served as Robert Mugabe’ s first wife and Zimbabwe’ s First Lady from 1987 until her death in 1992 at the age of 60. In Zimbabwe, she was referred to as Amai (Mother).
Although Sarah Francesca (Hayfron) Mugabe was a certified teacher, she was also a political activist and campaigner who used her involvement to destabilize white minority government in Southern Rhodesia in 1962.
She was prosecuted with sedition by the Ian Smith government and condemned to five years in prison, with a portion of her sentence suspended.
Sally moved into exile in London in 1967, settling in Ealing Broadway, West London. Her time in the United Kingdom was partially funded by the British Ariel Foundation, which was established in 1960. It had tight ties to the British government, which considered higher education as a way to influence the next generation of African leaders in the UK.
Sally sought exile after her husband was imprisoned and her kid was killed, and she worked for the Africa Centre until her visa expired in 1970. Sally was about to be deported by the British Home Office, but Mugabe’ s letters to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as a petition signed by at least 400 MPs, persuaded the authorities to let her stay.
She spent the following eight years fighting and lobbying in Rhodesia for the release of political captives, including her husband, who was arrested in 1964 and sentenced to ten years in prison.
Mugabe was imprisoned in 1964 for advocating Zimbabwe’ s independence, and it took him nearly 11 years to be released in 1974. Mugabe continued his studies with the extra time he had, getting two law degrees from the University of London External Programme.
Sally rejoined her husband in Maputo after Mugabe’ s release in 1975 and subsequent departure for Mozambique with Edgar Tekere. She adopted the new position of mother figure for the tens of thousands of refugees displaced by the Rhodesian Bush War. As a result, she was given the nickname Amai (Mother).
She was elected ZANU- PF Women’ s League Deputy Secretary in 1978.
As Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, she had to quickly adjust to a new and national role as the wife of the country’ s first black Prime Minister.
When her husband was elected as Zimbabwe’ s second president in 1987, she became the country’ s first lady. At the party’ s Congress in 1989, she was elected Secretary- General of the ZANU- PF Women’ s League.
She was also the founder of the Zimbabwe Child Survival Movement (Zimbabwe Child Survival Movement). Sally established the Zimbabwe Women’ s Cooperative in the UK in 1986 and supported Akina Mama wa Afrika, an African women’ s group based in London that works on development and feminist rights in Africa and the UK.
Sally died of renal failure on January 27, 1992. She was laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, Zimbabwe, after her death. Zimbabwe released a set of five postage stamps in 2002 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of her death, all of which featured two distinct photos on two different denominations.
She is remembered lovingly with respect and affection since she is still regarded as Zimbabwe’ s founding mother.
Perhaps it is her simple living, her efforts to provide some comfort to the poor, or even better, her ability to point out other options that her husband may have overlooked that has won her the hearts of so many Zim residents.
Despite the fact that Sally is not a Zimbabwean, Zimbabweans respect and love her, unlike Grace Mugabe, Mugabe’ s assistant turned lover and second wife. Some have called Grace a gold digger, accusing her of turning Mugabe into the calm, sensible, and well- intentioned gentleman and leader he was before she entered the picture.
According to reports, Sally and Mugabe’ s marriage began to falter once they learned they couldn’ t have any more children. Mugabe stated that Sally was aware of his relationship with Grace, claiming a desire to have children after the loss of a son he was given by Sally, as well as a desire to give his mother grandchildren.
Following the death of his much respected first wife, Sally, in 1992, many Zimbabweans attribute Mugabe’ s and the country’ s fortunes to his 1996 wedding to Grace Marufu, 41 years his junior.