Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule

Time to go! Mugabe's decision was inevitable. In reality, he lost his power six days ago when the country's top generals launched what amounted to a military coup.

After 37 years in power Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has resigned. Finally succumbing to the pressure of a military takeover and the humiliation of impeachment.

The announcement came minutes into a joint session of the Zimbabwean Parliament in Harare, convened to prise the 93-year-old from power.

As the Speaker read out a letter from Mugabe, lawmakers broke out in thunderous applause and cheers. People have come out on the streets of Harare waving flags, holding signs, dancing, singing and celebrating the end of an era.

The announcement came as Parliament began proceedings to impeach Mugabe, six days after the military seized control in the capital city. The Speaker of the house read a resignation letter from Mugabe prompting applause and cheers from lawmakers.

It is not clear who will take over from Mugabe. The Vice President said earlier today he would not return to Zimbabwe until his safety was guaranteed. Mugabe and his wife’s whereabouts are also unknown.

Mr Mugabe, 93, was until now the world’s oldest leader. He had previously refused to resign despite last week’s military takeover and days of protests.

The letter did not mention who would take over from Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since independence in 1980.

Robert Mugabe won elections during his 37 years in power, but over the past 15 years these were marred by violence against political opponents.


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