93-year-old leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe steps down one week after he was detained by military
The announcement came during a parliamentary hearing to impeach Robert Mugabe and launches the nation into a new era as uncertain as it is hopeful.
The move caps an astonishing eight-day crisis, which started when the military took over last week in order to block the rise to power of Mugabe’s wife and her faction within the ruling Zanu-PF party then developed into a popular revolt against the ageing autocrat.
A letter submitted to parliament by the 93-year-old said his decision to resign was voluntary on his part. Wild jubilation broke out among MPs when Jacob Mudenda, the speaker, told the parliament and cheers and celebrations spread through the streets of Harare.
Thousands of Zimbabweans had turned up outside parliament to urge on MPs, chanting, dancing and waving placards in Africa Unity square. –
Though some still consider the former guerrilla a hero of the liberation struggle, many more reviled Mugabe as a dictator prepared to sacrifice the economic well being of 13 million people to remain in power.
His fall will reverberate across a continent where hundreds of millions still suffer the authoritarian excesses of rapacious, ruthless rulers, are denied justice by corrupt or incompetent officials, and struggle to hold even elected governments to account.
The way is now clear for Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice-president fired by Mugabe 13 days ago, to take power. He was appointed interim leader of the Zanu-PF at the meeting on Sunday.