Dr Canaan Sodindo Banana is selected as the first President of the newly independent Republic of Zimbabwe

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Dr Canaan Banana source: www.brucecarleton.com

Friday, 11 April 1980

Zimbabwean Methodist minister and theologian, Dr Canaan Sodindo Banana was selected as the first President of the newly independent Republic of Zimbabwe. He was officially inaugurated on 18 April of the same year. Banana held the largely ceremonial post of president of Zimbabwe from 1980, when the country gained independence, until Prime Minister Robert Mugabe pushed through constitutional changes in 1987 that created an executive presidency. In 1998, after a highly publicized and controversial trial, Banana was convicted of homosexual assault and other “unnatural acts” and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with 9 years suspended.  Eventually he served eight months.

References:
• Boddy-Evans, A., ‘This Day in African History: 11 April’, from About African History, [online], Available at africanhistory.about.com [Accessed: 18 March 2013]
• Mental Acrobatics, (2003), ‘Dr Canaan Banana’, from  Mental Acrobatics, 12 November, [online], Available at www.mentalacrobatics.com [Accessed: 18 March 2013]

Last updated : 11-Apr-2014

This article was produced for South African History Online on 05-Apr-2013