Mnangagwa rises as Mugabe falls

HARARE – The curtain finally came down on President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, as he resigned with immediate effect yesterday, triggering massive celebrations across the country.

Mugabe had been under siege since the country’s military intervened last week to restore order and rescue the economy currently on the precipice due to his misrule.

In his resignation read by the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda just before he was to be impeached, Mugabe said his stepping down was voluntary.

“Following a verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly, ... Jacob Mudenda at 1353 hours on November 21, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in terms of section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe hereby tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and nonviolent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability. Kindly give public notice of my decision as soon as possible,” reads part of Mugabe’s resignation letter.

The resignation came as Zanu PF had recalled Mugabe on Sunday and replaced him with his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Yesterday, the party in collaboration with the MDC party had initiated a motion for his impeachment.

This is no longer necessary now that Mugabe has heeded the call to step down.

Justice minister Happyton Bonyongwe, who is also the leader of the Parliament, delivered Mugabe’s resignation letter to Mudenda.

Immediately, legislators went into a frenzy as they celebrated the fall of a man they had gathered to impeach.

Mugabe’s resignation appears to be part of a deal negotiated by Father Fidelis Mukonori, and former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda that secures the 93-year-old’s family interests, both security and commercial.

His allies who have been in hiding at his residence, among them Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Local Government minister

Saviour Kasukuwere were also included in the deal to guarantee their safe passage into exile.

Kasukuwere wrote a farewell message on Twitter before he left the country.

Moyo also said adios to the man he once loathed, then loved and served.

“There'll never be anyone like...RG Mugabe. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have served my country under and with him. I'm proud that I stood with and by this iconic leader during the trying moments of the last days of his presidency. Democracy requires politics to lead the gun,” said Moyo.

On the streets of Harare, cars honked their horns and thousands poured into the streets as news filtered through that the 93-year-old strongman, who had failed to groom or anoint a successor, had finally succumbed to public protests.

Elsewhere, Zimbabweans took to the streets of Yeoville and Hillbrow districts of the South African city of Johannesburg to celebrate news of the resignation.

Around three million Zimbabweans have emigrated from their home country to South Africa in search of work following Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.

British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday said Mugabe’s resignation gives Zimbabwe the chance to forge a new path, free from oppression.

“The resignation of Robert Mugabe provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule,” May said.

“In recent days, we have seen the desire of the Zimbabwean people for free and fair elections and the opportunity to rebuild the country’s economy under a legitimate government.”

May added in a statement that Britain, as “Zimbabwe’s oldest friend”, would do all it could to support the country.

One of Africa’s most outspoken figures, Lieutenant General Khama, Botswana President, had said in an open letter posted on the Botswana government website that Mugabe should accept reality and step down to end Zimbabweans’ unprecedented suffering.

Khama had spoken as his South African counterpart President Jacob Zuma and Angolan leader Joao Lourenco were expected in the country today to break the impasse between Mugabe and the military.

It is now not clear if Lourenco and Zuma, the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), will still fly to Zimbabwe considering that Mugabe has decided to throw in the towel.

Lourenco chairs the Sadc Organ on politics, defence and security.

Since last week, Mugabe’s world had collapsed around him.

He was abandoned by the once ever faithful military — which placed him under house arrest.

His family and close allies had either fled or disowned him, and on Saturday tens of thousands of citizens, known for their resilience, marched to State House to demonstrate against his largely unfruitful rule.

On Sunday, his party which had elevated him to demigod status knocked him from his lofty pedestal, amended the party’s constitution which created the so-called one centre of power and named Mnangagwa as the interim party president pending the December congress.

Also on Sunday, the country’s generals led by Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga met with him apparently coaxing him to step down but he did not resign as was universally expected, leading his party to go the legal route and impeach him.

Comments (2)

Its good Mgabe stepped down before SADC goons set foot in Zimbabwe. Mugabe would still be power now. These SADC goons are good at propping up and pampering each other. Will never forget what Mbeki did, and what Mgabe did in DRC. I am pleased this solution was wholly Zimbabwean. Now after the BULLET, the BALLOT MUST FOLLOW for a PEOPLE BALLOT CHOICE of a leader...

Will Blackman - 22 November 2017

Well Munangagwa 's rise must end next year we need not to make stupid mistakes again by electing a dander head to lead us this time around we need a president elected by people not imposed on people by the army . Next year we must finish off zanu and we must do that emphatically .If we want to grow our economy zanu must be out of power actually all sane people no longer want zanu ,.

Diibulaanyika - 22 November 2017

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