Bush Guerrilla Leader Robert Mugab, who led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980 and crushed his enemies for nearly four decades of rule, when his country plunged into poverty, hyperinflation and unrest, died on Friday at the age of 95.

He was one of the most polarizing figures in the history of his continent, a giant of Africa’s liberation struggle against colonialism, whose rule finally ended in ignominy when he was overthrown by his own army.

“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde (Comrade) Robert Mugabe,” a post on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s official Twitter account said.

Tributes poured in from African leaders. The South African government sent condolences on the death of a “fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter”. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned a “man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular.”

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