ROBERT MUGABE has reportedly RESIGNED as President according to the speaker of Zimbabwe’s Parliament. His resignation ends a 37-year dictatorship, Mugabe has ruled the nation with an iron fist since independence from Britain 37 years ago.
Zimbabwe was formerly a British Colony known as Southern Rhodesia and later, Rhodesia – the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.
In 1965, the ruling forces declared independence as Rhodesia. The state endured international isolation and a 15-year guerrilla war with black nationalist forces -this ended in a peace agreement that established independence and sovereignty in April 1980.
While most African states gained independence by the end of the 1960s, Zimbabwe remained one of the last European colonies on the continent, ruled by white settlers as Rhodesia until 1980. Mugabe took power after a long guerrilla struggle, and two decades later ordered the forcible seizure of white-owned farms.
The collapse in output that followed was one of the worst economic depressions of modern times. By 2007-2008 inflation topped out at 500 billion percent. Mugabe blamed Britain and the United States for sabotaging the country to bring it to heel. His followers used violence to suppress a growing domestic opposition he branded lackeys of former colonial powers.
The economy briefly stabilised from 2010-2014 when Mugabe was forced to accept a power-sharing government with the opposition, but since then the recovery has unravelled.
In the last year, a chronic shortage of dollars has led to long queues outside banks. Imported goods are running out and economists say that by some measures inflation is now at 50 percent a month.