HARARE, November 21 – The resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday marked the dawn of a new era for Zimbabwe, the country’s ruling Zanu-PF said, adding that a new president would be announced soon.
“Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda announced at a joint sitting of The House of Assembly and The Senate that a new President would be announced. He read the resignation letter by President Robert Mugabe to the house,” the ruling party said in a short statement on it’s website.
“The resignation of President Robert Mugabe marked the dawn of a new era for Zimbabwe. Thousands of Zimbabweans poured onto the streets of Zimbabwe after Mugabe’s resignation was handed in to a joint sitting of the House of Assembly and the Senate.”
Mudenda made the announcement when the two Houses of Parliament — Upper and Lower — were seated at the Harare International Conference Centre in the capital, moving a motion to impeach Mugabe. He said he had received a letter from the President, bringing the impeachment process to halt.
The development brings to end the 37-year rule by the 93-year-old, in power since Zimbabwe attained independence from colonial rule in 1980.
On November 14, the Zimbabwean military took charge of the country when tanks rolled into the capital.
Early Wednesday morning, the army seized control of state television ZBC and said it was acting against “criminals” surrounding Mugabe, but they insisted their actions were not a coup.
Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, shortly after parliament began an impeachment process to end his nearly four decades of rule.
The 93-year old clung on for a week after an 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 Mugabe’s resignation and suspended the impeachment procedure.
The origin of 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 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.
Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as The Crocodile, is expected to take over as president.