On Wednesday, November 15, the oldest among the longest ruling national leaders, Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president of Zimbabwe who has ruled the country for 37 years, was taken into custody by the country’s military. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is demanding that President Mugabe resign, despite the president’s refusal to step down ahead of next year’s presidential elections. These are the top 7 reasons why he ruled for 37 years and don’t want to resign.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe – President of Zimbabwe
7. Mugabe’s tenure also brought some improvements, primarily in the social sphere, including a reduction in child mortality, growing literacy and education attainment rates, and improved economic freedom and international tourism, as well as a decrease in military expenditures.
6. He enjoys being compared to Hitler. When someone made the comparison, due to his alleged racist attitudes towards white people, Mugabe responded, ‘I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people, and their right to their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold.
5. Despite his age, the President shows no intention of stepping down – he reaffirmed his intention to lead Zimbabwe saying that he would stand again in 2018.
4. At 93, he is the oldest head of state on Earth. He has been in power for 37 years.
3. His successor might be his wife, Grace Mugabe, but the possibility of that might be unrealistic as the military has taken over the government.
2. When Gordon Brown attempted to step in over Mugabe’s refusal to release election results (he lost, but remains in power through a new sharing arrangement) in 2008, Mugabe described him as a, ‘a little tiny dot on this planet’.
1. A popular conspiracy theory suggests that Mugabe died long ago and has been replaced by his own body double. Photos suggest otherwise.