At last Mugabe resigns — After 37 years of being in power, Zimbabwe leader, Robert Mugabe, has finally signed terms of his resignation.
The 93-year old clung on for a week after army takeover and expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party, which also told him to leave power.
Wild celebrations broke out at a joint sitting of parliament when Speaker Jacob Mudenda announced Mr Mugabe’s resignation and suspended the impeachment procedure.
Mr Mugabe made the resignation in a letter submitted to parliament.
In the letter, Mr Mugabe said that his decision to resign was made voluntary on his part. He also said that he has resigned to allow the smooth transfer of power.
The origin of Mr Mugabe’s sudden downfall lies in rivalry between members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite over who will succeed him, rather than popular protests against his rule.
The army seized power after Mr Mugabe sacked ZANU-PF’s favourite to succeed him, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to smooth a path to the presidency for his wife Grace, 52, known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping.
Mr Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as ‘The Crocodile’, is expected to take over as president.
Earlier, the parliament began an impeachment process against Mr Mugabe.
Mr Mudenda told parliament earlier that he received a motion to impeach and lawmakers would adjourn to a hotel to start the proceedings later today.
Thousands of people demonstrated outside parliament urging his resignation.
Since the crisis began, Mr Mugabe has been mainly confined to his lavish “Blue Roof” residence in the capital.
Mr Mugabe led Zimbabwe’s liberation war and is hailed as one of post-colonial Africa’s founding fathers and a staunch supporter of the drive to free neighbouring South Africa from apartheid in 1994.
But many say he has damaged Zimbabwe’s economy, democracy and judiciary by staying in power for too long and has used violence to crush perceived political opponents.
The country faces a foreign exchange payments crisis and roaring inflation.