ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe has resigned, sending Zimbabweans into wild celebrations at the news which comes following massive protests against his continued rule on Saturday.
The 93-year-old Mugabe was recalled from the leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF on Sunday and asked to resign.
He instead gave a national address later on Sunday night but never made mention of any plans to leave.
Parliament had set an impeachment hearing in progress, but Mugabe opted to send a resignation letter to Speaker of the national assembly Jacob Mudenda today.
According to the letter, Mugabe said the decision was voluntary and made it to allow “a smooth transfer of power”, Reuters has reported.
Upon announcement of Mugabe’s resignation, members of parliament roared in jubilation while Zimbabweans trooped to the streets to celebrate the exit of the 93-year-old leader.
“We are elated. It’s time for new blood,”
said William Makombore, who said he worked in finance.
“I’m 36 and I’ve been waiting for this all my life. I’ve only known one leader.”
Munyaradzi Chisango, celebrating nearby, said: “I’m 35 and I have children. I was born under Mugabe, and they were born under him. This is going to put Zimbabwe back on the map.”
Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite last week’s military takeover and days of protests.
The new leader of ZANU-PF Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier yesterday asked Mugabe to resign.
“The destiny of our country is in the hands of our people and his excellency must heed the call of the people to resign,”
said Mnangagwa, who left the country after Mugabe fired him as deputy president earlier this month.
Mugabe made contact with Mnangagwa, who says he won’t return to the country “until he is satisfied of his personal security”, the new party leader said.