Harare: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has said. A letter from Mr Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transition of power. Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces in 2011. President Robert Mugabe announced his immediate resignation after 37 years in power and Mubarak resigns after 31 years.
The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him. Lawmakers roared in jubilation and people have begun celebrating in the streets. Mr Mugabe 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.
The constitution says it should be the current vice-president, Phelekezela Mphoko, a supporter of Grace Mugabe, Mr Mugabe’s wife. Mr Mudenda said moves were under way to ensure a new leader could take over by late on Wednesday. The streets of Zimbabwe’s capital have erupted in dancing, singing, honking and cheers after President Robert Mugabe announced his immediate resignation after 37 years in power.
Mugabe, who had been the world’s oldest head of state at 93, said that proper procedures should be followed to install new leadership. Mugabe’s resignation brought an end to the impeachment proceedings brought by the ruling ZANU-PF party after its Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader and select recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as his replacement, a move that eventually could lead to Mnangagwa becoming head of state. Currently in exile, Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, more feared than popular.