22 November 2017
By Ugwu Izuchukwu
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday after much dramatic tussles with his country’s military submitted his resignation letter to the country’s parliament to signal the end of his 37 years of autocratic rule.
Mugabe defied all pressure and demands for him to step down for almost a week after a military takeover and expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party but stepped down on Tuesday, just as his country’s parliament started proceedings to impeach him.
As the speaker read out a letter from Mugabe, lawmakers broke out in thunderous applause and the impeachment proceedings were immediately suspended.
The effect of his resignation was immediately felt in all the streets of the country, crowds erupted in rapturous celebrations, dancing and cheering in joy, raising their fists, and waving Zimbabwean flags.
In the letter, Mugabe maintained that his resignation was a voluntary decision as he said, “I have resigned to allow smooth transfer of power. Kindly give public notice of my decision as soon as possible.”
It will be recalled that on Sunday, Mugabe in an address to the nation vowed to stay in power for several weeks, despite the intensifying pressure on him to stand down.
While responding to CNN, a highly elated young man said, “When the crisis started, it bore all the hallmarks of a coup but at the end, it almost resembled a popular revolt. We think that this is the work of God. We were in crisis for a long time, and this is a new day for Zimbabweans”.
In another development, Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF through its legal secretary, Patrick Chinamasa told Reuters after the resignation of Robert Mugabe, that Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s long time vice whom Mugabe sacked to pave way for his wife’s enthronement, will be sworn in as president very soon.
Reuters claimed that separately, ZANU-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke said Mnangagwa would be sworn in within 48 hours and that he would serve the remainder of Mugabe’s term until the next general elections, which must be held by September 2018.