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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe resigns


Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe resigns

Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe's president on Tuesday (Nov 21), swept from power as his 37-year reign of autocratic control and brutality crumbled within days of a military takeover. The move looks set to bring an end to Zimbabwe's worst political crisis since the country won independence from Britain in 1980.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has resigned, bringing an end to 37 years of rule and sparking jubilant celebrations in the nation's streets. A letter from Mr Mugabe read out by the speaker of parliament said the decision was voluntary and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.

The news abruptly halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him. The ruling Zanu-PF party says former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980.

Mr Mnangagwa's sacking earlier this month triggered a political crisis. It had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.

After the resignation announcement, lawmakers roared in jubilation. Mr Mugabe, 93, was until his resignation the world's oldest leader. He had previously refused to quit despite last week's military takeover and days of protests.

According to the constitution his successor should be the current Vice-President, Phelekezela Mphoko, a supporter of Grace Mugabe. But Zanu-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Reuters news agency that Mr Mnangagwa would be in office "within 48 hours".

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