Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the current President of Zimbabwe, serving since 31 December 1987.
As one of the leaders of the rebel groups against white minority rule, he was elected as Prime Minister, head of government, in 1980, and served in that office until 1987, when he became the country's first executive head of state.
He has led the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front since 1975.
Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union during the conflict against the conservative white-minority government of Rhodesia.
Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974.
Upon release Mugabe, along with Edgar Tekere, left Rhodesia in 1975 to re-join the fight during the Rhodesian Bush War from bases in Mozambique.
At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans.
He won the general elections of 1980 after calling for reconciliation between the former belligerents, including white Zimbabweans and rival political parties, and thereby became Prime Minister on Zimbabwe's independence in April 1980.