He suffered political detention in 1962 and the following year co-founded and became secretary-general of ZANU. Again he was sentenced, without trial, to political detention in 1964, but escaped in 1974 to Mozambique from where he led the armed struggle against the regime right up to 1979.
In many cases the fertile land went to wrack and ruin, leading to acute food shortages and a dramatic downturn in Zimbabwe#8217;s economy.
During the Commonwealth heads of government conference a year later, he quit the organisation while member states were arguing about Zimbabwe#8217;s future.
When, through Lord (Christopher) Soames, Margaret Thatcher brokered a deal in 1979 to end the Ian Smith rebellion, to everyone#8217;s surprise, the Marxist Mugabe #8211; with what was described as #8220;a mix of conciliatory and intimidatory rhetoric#8221; #8211; became prime minister from 1980 to 1987. From 1988 he was president of Zimbabwe.