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Robert Mugabe
(Zimbabwean Statesman)

Date of Birth:
21 February 1924


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Robert Mugabe, KCB has served as the head of government in Zimbabwe since 1980, as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987 and as the first executive President since 1987. He rose to prominence in the 1960s as a Zimbabwe African National Union leader in guerilla warfare against white-minority rule in Rhodesia in the Bush War . Emerging from this conflict, Mugabe was hailed by Africans as a hero.

After a costly intervention in the Second Congo War and mass expropriation of white-owned farmland, Western opinion turned sharply against Mugabe. Zimbabwe's economy spiraled downward, leading to food and oil shortages, hyperinflation, and massive emigration. During this recent period his policies have been denounced in the West and at home as racist against Zimbabwe's white minority. Mugabe has described his critics as "born again colonialists," and both he and his supporters claim that Zimbabwe's problems are the legacy of imperialism, aggravated by Western economic meddling. On 3 April 2008, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change had won control of the parliament. This was confirmed when the results were released. Both the opposition and his party challenged the results in some constituencies. . Mugabe lost the 2008 election to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, getting 43% to his 47.9%

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