The devastating economic legacy of Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe was once the bread basket of Africa. But it's been slammed by industrial mismanagement, food shortages, a collapsed currency and rampant corruption.
Robert Mugabe led the nation for nearly four decades and is widely blamed for its economic collapse. He resigned as president on Tuesday.
His departure comes after military leaders seized control of the country last week in an apparent coup and deployed tanks in the capital city of Harare.
Here's the story behind Zimbabwe's economic rise and fall:
Mugabe was elected the first prime minister of a newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980 after spending years in prison for his politics.
He was adored by many as a Nelson Mandela-style figure who would lead the country forward following decades of British and white-dominated rule.
"He always had a populist stance, which meant he wanted to work in the best interest of his people but not necessarily the economy," said Funmi Akinluyi, a portfolio manager who invests in Africa and frontier markets at Silk Invest.
Mugabe earned international recognition for education and health initiatives, and the nation steadily grew its exports of manufactured and agricultural products. Zimbabwe was famous for its tobacco production, and its weather supported year-round farming.
President Robert Mugabe led Zimbabwe since 1980. He is now 93 years old.
As Mugabe's political momentum faded, critics accused him of using brutality and bribery to maintain his power. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Mugabe's mismanagement of the country's farming sector was a turning point that contributed to an economic catastrophe.
The aim of government land reforms was to end decades of farm ownership by white landlords, which many viewed as
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