A large group of people from Kutama, the Zimbabwean village where leader Robert Mugabe was born, paid tribute to him and mourned him after his death, as footage filmed on Monday shows.

People gathered in a dusty village located southeast of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, wearing dresses and t-shirts bearing Mugabe's face, singing and dancing to pay tribute to a person they consider a national hero.

"I have been hurt by the death of Robert Mugabe," said one villager.

Mugabe, who died at the age of 95 in Singapore, was a leading figure of the independence movement that saw his country breaking away from British rule in 1980, and who remained in power until 2017, when he he was toppled by his own army.

Mugabe led the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) while in prison fighting for the independence of Zimbabwe from white-minority rule in Southern Rhodesia. In 1979, he took part in peace negotiations with the United Kingdom, ending the Rhodesian Bush War and leading to the creation and recognition of the independent Republic of Zimbabwe.

In 1980, the country held it's first general election where Mugabe was elected as the first prime minister and after 1987, as President of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe ruled the country for nearly forty years becoming a symbol for Africa liberation movements, but his last years in power were marked by repression of political opponents and economic decline.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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