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Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years

Updated: Nov 21, 2017 23:33 IST

Harare Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigned as president with immediate effect today after 37 years in power,

shortly after parliament began impeachment proceedings against


“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,” said

Mugabe in his letter which was read out in parliament,

sparking cheers and dancing.

Ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke told The

Associated Press that recently fired Vice President Emmerson

Mnangagwa would take over as the country’s leader within 48


Matuke said Mnangagwa, who fled the country after his

firing, “is not far from here.” Matuke said they look forward

to Mugabe doing the handover of power “so that Mnangagwa moves

with speed to work for the country.”

Cars began honking horns and people cheered in the

streets as the news spread like wildfire across the capital,


Mugabe, who had been the world’s oldest head of state at

93, said that proper procedures should be followed to install

new leadership.

Mugabe’s resignation brought an end to the impeachment

proceedings brought by the ruling ZANU-PF party after its

Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader

and select Mnangagwa as his replacement.

Currently in exile, Mnangagwa served for decades as

Mugabe’s enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and

ruthless, more feared than popular.

Before the resignation, crowds rallied outside

Parliament, dancing and singing. Some people placed photos of

Mugabe in the street so that cars would run over them.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party said

the culture of the ruling party “must end” and everyone must

put their heads together and work toward free and fair


First Published: Nov 21, 2017 23:26 IST