Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe finally resigns
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday, bringing to an end 37 years in power which he began as a hero of the struggle against white rule and ended as the man blamed for reducing his country to despotism and economic misery.
The streets of Harare erupted in celebration after Mr Mugabe’s resignation was announced during a joint session of both houses of the Zimbabwean parliament that had gathered to launch impeachment proceedings on Tuesday afternoon.
“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power,” Mr Mugabe said in a letter read out by Jacob Mudenda, the speaker of parliament.
Mr Mugabe’s resignation letter made no mention of who should replace him as president.
However, he is widely expected to be succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former security chief who fled to South Africa after Mr Mugabe fired him as vice president on November 6.
Zanu-PF, the ruling party, installed Mr Mnangagwa as party leader after ousting Mr Mugabe from the same role on Saturday.
Mr Mugabe’s resignation came a week after Zimbabwe’s military placed the 93-year old president under house arrest in a soft coup prompted by a power struggle within the ruling party involving Grace Mugabe, the first lady.