Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe gestures during his 93rd birthday celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 21, 2017 Reuters

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe turned 93 on Tuesday, making him the oldest president in Africa and also in the world. He is the only leader most Zimbabweans have ever known, spending nearly 37 years at the helm since independence from Britain.

In the 1960s, he fought against the white minority government of Ian Smith, and was held as a political prisoner for more than 10 years. When Zimbabwe won its independence in 1980, Mugabe became the first prime minister.

Although, he is quite aged now but, still there is no sign of him stepping down. Mugabe has been endorsed by his governing Zanu-PF party as its election candidate for next year, when he will be 94. Grace Mugabe, the leader's wife said that even if he dies, the ruling party should field his corpse in the 2018 election.

Throughout his political career, Mugabe has ruled with an iron fist and has crushed all oppositions. He has often compared himself to Hitler and has been accused of having a racist attitude towards white people. The critics, including the United States, have repeatedly blamed Mugabe for mismanaging the economy and making a once-prosperous southern African country poor. But his supporters in and out of Zimbabwe have always seen him as an African nationalist who has always defended the cause of the continent.

On Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday, IBTimes Singapore looks back at his life through this gallery.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe attends the launch of basic commodities in Harare, July 16, 2008. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (L) and his wife Grace (R) greet supporters at a national Heroes Day rally in Harare, August 11, 2014. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe gestures at an election rally in the small town of Shamva northeast of the capital Harare, May 29, 2008. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (R) holds hands with his South African counterpart Nelson Mandela greeting him on his arrival in the country in Harare, Zimbabwe, December 13, 1998. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh stand with the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe (L), shortly before he reviewed a guard of honour in London May 17, 1994. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 21, 2016. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters during celebrations to mark his 90th birthday in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, February 23, 2014 Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi (L) and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe greet supporters outside State House in Harare July 12, 2001. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe casts his vote as his wife Grace and daughter Bona (L-R) look on in Highfields outside Harare July 31, 2013. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 10, 2015. Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 93
President Robert Mugabe and new wife Grace leave the Kutama Catholic Church August 17, 1996 after exchaning their wedding vows. The couple were traditionally married shortly after the death of Mugabe's first wife Sally. The ceremony was attended by six thousand invited guests. Reuters