Mugabe resigns… Nearly 4 decades in power

Mr Mugabe

Mr Mugabe

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 transfer of power, the Reuters news agency reports.
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.
He has been in power since independence in 1980. Mr Mugabe has won elections, but over the past 15 years these have been marred by violence against political opponents.
He has presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where people are on average 15% poorer now than they were in 1980.
What triggered the moves to oust him was his dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice-president two weeks ago.
That decision was seen by many as clearing the way for Mr Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to succeed her husband as leader. It riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.

Earlier, former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa whose sacking led to last week’s army takeover, has urged Mr Mugabe to resign immediately.

He said he fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him, and he would not return until he was sure of his security.

The ruling Zanu-PF party began impeachment proceedings in parliament later on Tuesday.

Mr Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife to “usurp constitutional power”.

Speaking from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, Mr Mnangagwa said the 93-year-old president should heed the “clarion call” of his people and step down.
“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,” he said in a statement.

Mr Mnangagwa more or less accused President Mugabe of trying to have him killed.

The statement from the former vice-president gave an extraordinary insight into the vicious power struggles that preceded last week’s military intervention.

Mr Mnangagwa said his security guards had warned him of plans to “eliminate” him, after he was sacked earlier this month. He promptly fled to South Africa.

On Monday night, Zimbabwe’s army generals claimed that Mr Mnangagwa had agreed to return home as part of a transitional roadmap. -BBC

email
Print Friendly

Leave a Comment