President Mugabe finally resigns, Zimbabwe erupts in celebration
A series of dramatic events over the past few days in Zimbabwe has finally resulted in ending President Robert Mugabe's 37 -year-long controversial rule. Mugabe's resignation letter was read out in the Parliament by the speaker. Zimbabweans welcomed the news with loud cheers and jubilant celebrations. Mugabe will be succeeded by former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Here's more about it.
What has happened so far?
On November 15, Mugabe was placed under house-arrest during a military takeover. The crisis began after he sacked Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks ago, apparently for his wife, Grace, to succeed him as president. Since the military takeover, Mugabe's grip on power has weakened considerably. On November 18, thousands of people protested in Harare, calling for Mugabe's resignation.
Impeachment proceedings against Mugabe to commence
On 21 November, former Zimbabwean Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged President Robert Mugabe to resign immediately. This came even as the ruling Zanu-PF party is expected to commence impeachment proceedings against Mugabe in Parliament. Mugabe had been accused of allowing his wife, Grace Mugabe, to "usurp constitutional power" So far, a defiant Mugabe has resisted growing calls to resign.
Mnanganawa to swoop into power
Under Zimbabwean constitutional provisions, Mugabe's successor should be the current vice-president, Phelekezela Mphoko. However, chief whip of Mugabe's Zanu-PF party reveals that Mnangagwa would enter office within 48 hours. Mugabe sacking of Mnanganawa as vice-president had triggered the political crisis.
US, UK hail "historic moment" in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said his country was on a "new trajectory" that would include free and fair elections. British PM Theresa May said Mugabe's resignation "provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterized his rule". The US has called it a "historic moment" and hailed Zimbabweans who "raised their voice."
Harare is 'a city singing with the noise of joy'
The BBC's Fergal Keane reported that the end of Mugabe's rule was being greeted by "the cheers and the blaring of car horns" in capital Harare. "It is a city singing with the noise of joy."
Bye bye Mugabe: Why is his resignation significant?
Mugabe, 93, famously swore that: "Only God who appointed me will remove me." Mugabe was the world's oldest head of state and had put up a strong opposition toward against growing calls for resignation over the past few days. For Zimbabweans, who suffered from the Mugabe administration's neglect, this represents a new dawn of hope.