Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses a gathering at the Heroes Acre in Harare. File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Harare, Zimbabwe - Africa is riveted by the overnight drama that has left longtime Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in military custody. 

Many across the continent have known no other leader of the once-prosperous southern African nation but the 93-year-old Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state. 

Here is a look at his more than three decades in power.

1980: Mugabe named prime minister after independence elections

1982: Military action begins in Matabeleland against perceived uprising; government is accused of killing thousands of civilians

1987: Mugabe changes constitution and becomes president

1994: Mugabe receives honorary British knighthood

2000: Land seizures of white-owned farms begin; Western donors cut off aid

2005: United States calls Zimbabwe an "outpost of tyranny"

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, left, and his wife Grace Mugabe chant the party's slogan during a solidarity rally in Harare, Zimbabwe. AP Photo

2008: Mugabe and opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirayi agree to share power after contested election; Britain's Queen Elizabeth II annuls Mugabe's honorary knighthood

2011: Prime Minister Tsvangirayi declares power-sharing a failure amid violence

2013: Mugabe wins seventh term; opposition alleges election fraud

2016: #ThisFlag protest movement emerges; independence war veterans turn on Mugabe, calling him "dictatorial"

2017: Mugabe begins campaigning for 2018 elections

November 6: Mugabe fires deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, appearing to position first lady Grace Mugabe for vice president post

November 15: Army announces it has Mugabe and his wife in custody as military appears to take control

Associated Press