Landmarks in Robert Mugabe's life

1924 Robert Gabriel Mugabe is born in Kutama, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia).

1945 He leaves St Francis Xavier College, Kutama, having qualified as a teacher.

1949 Obtains scholarship to University College of Fort Hare, South Africa.

1957 Moves to Ghana; meets his future wife, Sally Hayfron.

1960 Gives first political speech while home on holiday. Joins National Democratic Party under Joshua Nkomo, becoming publicity secretary.

1961 Marries Sally Hayfron. Zimbabwe African People's Union formed to replace banned NDP.

1962 Zapu banned; restrictions placed on leaders.

1963 Zimbabwe African National Union formed as rival to Zapu.

1964 Mugabe and others detained.

1966 Three-year-old Nhamo Mugabe dies in Ghana; imprisoned Mugabe is denied permission to attend his son's funeral.

1974 Detainees released from prison for settlement talks.

1975 Herbert Chitepo, head of Zanu in exile, is assassinated in Zambia. Mugabe and Edgar Tekere leave Rhodesia to join guerrillas in Mozambique.

1977 Mugabe gains control of Zanu.

1978 Zanu military leader Rex Nhongo (aka Solomon Mujuru) crushes internal revolt aimed at toppling Mugabe.

1979 Lancaster House conference takes place in London. Zanu's military leader Josiah Tongogara dies.

1980 Mugabe becomes prime minister of independent Zimbabwe.

1981 Apartheid South Africa embarks on campaign to destabilise Mugabe.

1982 Nkomo sacked from government following discovery of arms caches in Matabeleland. Mugabe unleashes North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in a brutal campaign against dissidents.

1987 Mugabe and Nkomo sign Unity Accord, merging to form Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. Mugabe changes constitution, becoming executive president.

1988 War veterans launch campaign for recognition of role in liberating Zimbabwe. "Willowgate" corruption scandal exposed.

1990 Nelson Mandela released from prison in South Africa. World Bank's Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (Esap) begins in Zimbabwe.

1992 Sally Mugabe dies of kidney failure.

1995 Street riots in Harare against rising prices and unemployment.

1996 Mugabe marries his secretary Grace Marufu in lavish ceremony at Kutama.

1997 New Labour government under Tony Blair wins UK election.

1998 Mugabe sends troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo to intervene in the civil war and plunder its riches.

1999 Repressive action against Zimbabwe's media and judiciary increases. Movement for Democratic Change is formed. Relations with Britain deteriorate.

2000 Constitutional reforms rejected by electorate. Squatters seize white-owned farms. Zanu-PF wins narrow victory against MDC in parliamentary elections.

2002 Parliament passes law limiting press freedom. European Union imposes limited sanctions. Mugabe re-elected in polls condemned as flawed .

2004 Leader of the MDC Morgan Tsvangirai acquitted of treason charges.

2005 Zanu-PF wins two-thirds of votes in parliamentary election. Urban "clean up" programme leaves thousands homeless.

2007 MDC leaders hospitalised after rally arrests. Power cuts throughout Zimbabwe. Inflation soars. Zanu-PF and MDC hold talks in South Africa.

2008 In March, the first-ever defeat for Mugabe in a parliamentary election.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk