harare - 93-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has ruled his country since 1980, often with hard hand. No price, including bloodshed, is too high to maintain its power. He won many elections but rarely seemed free of fraud and harassment. After much recent turmoil in the country and a nightly military intervention, the president and his family have not been seen.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born in 1924 in Kutama, in the then British colony of Southern Rhodesia. He taught in Ghana for some time, after which he returned to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and began his struggle for the independence of the country and the rights of the black population. In 1963 he founded the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). From 1964 he was detained for 10 years in a Rhodesian prison. Meanwhile, in 1965, White Prime Minister Ian Smith declared Rhodesia independent.
After his release, Mugabe began an armed battle against this Smith: the black population demanded more control of the white government. Smith's white minority regime collapsed after 14 years of international pressure and isolation.
In 1980, Zimbabwe became a republic within the British Commonwealth and Robert Mugabe became prime minister. He also assumed white ministers in his cabinet as government leader. The contrast with the apartheid regime in neighboring South Africa gave him much support and sympathy. On the other hand, at the beginning of the 80's he was the fifth brigade trained in North Korea against the powerful tribe in the Matabeleland region, with 20,000 deaths falling.
In 1999, the leader was faced with an ever-increasing opposition. It took him almost his job when the electorate rejected a constitutional amendment in 2000. With the help of team teams, loyal officers and election fraud, he managed to maintain absolute power for a long time. The sitting president was the only candidate in the second round of presidential elections in June 2008. He could therefore again be sworn to the head of state. With intimidation and violence, Mugabe had won the winner of the first round Morgan Tsvangirai and his adversary.