Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 yearsUpdated: 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
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