Robert Mugabe has finally resigned as President of Zimbabwe after series of demands and calls for him to do so. It brings to an end his reign as leader of the Southern African country for the past 37 years.
Mugabe’s resignation came in as the country’s parliament was debating a motion to impeach him on Tuesday.
The country’s parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda made the announcement sparking wild jubilation among lawmakers and across the country.
A letter from Mr Mugabe said the decision was voluntary but it came as a surprise to the joint sitting of parliament.
“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation… with immediate effect,” said speaker Mudenda, reading the letter.
“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 to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security , peace and stability.
“Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by Section 96 Subsection 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” excerpts of Mugabe’s letter to the speaker of parliament read.
The house has been adjourned and the speaker said a new President will be announced on Wednesday.
Mr Mugabe had previously refused to resign after the military takeover, and days of protests from Zimbabweans.
Mr. Mugabe led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980 and has ruled the country since then.
On Tuesday the sacked vice president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnanagagwa whose exit sparked a wind of revolution against Mugabe said his former boss must resign to protect his legacy.
The man nicknamed “The crocodile” in a statement in which he confirmed holding talks with his former boss over the current political crisis in Zimbabwe said “His Excellency, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe has always said that if the people don’t want him he will leave office, now that they have spoken he must now ACCEPT the will of the people and resign.”
“President Mugabe in his televised State of the Nation Address admitted to a number of a latent disregard to the interest of the people and dereliction of duty, surely after making such an admission common sense dictates that it should have been followed by an apology and immediate resignation to save the legacy of our struggle.” Emmerson added.
The 75 year old left the country shortly after he was sacked and he said “I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired,”
The war veteran who was a close ally of Mr. Mugabe for years said “In my conversation with the president I told him that there are two options, that is (a) to co-operate in the current negotiations with comrades from the defence forces for a peaceful resolution of this crisis, which would result in the preservation of his legacy. (b) that if he continues to dig in, in defiance of the will of the people, he might suffer humiliation because definitely the will of the people will prevail against one person.”
With Mr. Mugabe’s exit, the sacked vice president Mnangagwa is expected to be chosen as the next president to lead the country through a transition.