MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences following the passing of Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe, the official Kremlin website reports that the Russian leader sent a telegram expressing his condolences to incumbent Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“I offer my deepest condolences following the passing of Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the long-standing leader of your country,” the telegram reads. “Robert Mugabe’s name is associated with many important events in the modern history of Zimbabwe. He greatly contributed to the fight for Zimbabwe’s independence and establishment of Zimbabwe’s bodies of statehood.”
“He will be remembered in Russia as a consistent supporter of improving the friendly relations between our countries, [and as a person] that has done a lot to improve the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation,” Putin underlined, offering his heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Mugabe’s family and friends.
Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has died at the age of 95. BBC reports that Mugabe passed away in a hospital in Singapore where he arrived for treatment a few months ago.
Mugabe led Zimbabwe for 37 years since the country declared independence in 1980. In 1980-1987, he served as prime minister before abolishing the office and becoming president instead. In 2017, he was ousted from his position. The reason behind Mugabe’s removal was the conflict between him and then first Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. On November 6, Robert Mugabe dismissed Mnangagwa, however, the army backed the vice-president. On November 15, Mugabe was placed under house arrest, while the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party sacked him as party leader on November 19. Mugabe announced his resignation on November 21 ahead of the impending impeachment.
The South African SABC radio station reported that swarms of people had taken to streets of Zimbabwe to honor the memory of the former president and pay tribute to him.