Robert Mugabe resigns after 37 years as Zimbabwe's leader

Lester Mason
November 21, 2017

Mugabe's resignation closes a tense eight-day crisis that started when the military took over last week in order to block the rise to power of Mugabe's wife and her faction within the Zanu-PF party, before growing into a popular revolt against the leader.

Following negotiations with the military and massive demonstrations against him in the country's capital, Harare, Mugabe agreed to resign on Sunday, only to change his mind and refuse to step down, which sparked an impeachment proceeding in the Zimbabwe parliament.

The ZANU-PF has replaced Mugabe with recently dismissed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as new party leader. "When that is done, it's impeachment on Tuesday".

The military has said it is engaging Mugabe on the way forward.

The army said it had been "approached by several private volunteer organizations seeking to freely move and express their desires" and they could do so if they were orderly and peaceful.

Mugabe's political demise is the effect of a struggle over who would succeed him in ZANU-PF, a party split between those loyal to Mnangagwa and supporters of Grace Mugabe.

It was not clear who would take over from Mugabe.

The army is camped on his doorstep.

"President Robert Mugabe will meet the commander-elect of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (on Sunday)", said the ZBC broadcaster, citing father Fidelis Mukonori, the catholic priest who is chairing the talks between Mugabe and the military.

All the main pillars of Mugabe's rule have turned on him or have offered no support.

A letter from Mr Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power, Reuters reports.

This Ninety three yr old Mugabe continues to be under household arrest within his luxurious "Blue-Roof" compound inside Harare, where he's been watching support of his Zanu-PF group, personal security services and supporters vanish in under 72 hours.

Mugabe is revered by some as an elder statesman and independence leader but also reviled by many in Africa and overseas who accuse him of resorting to violence to retain power while running a once promising economy into the ground. Its flourishing economy began to disintegrate after a program of land seizures from white farmers, and agricultural output plummeted and inflation soared. Unemployment is now running at almost 90 percent and chronic shortages of hard currency have triggered inflation, with the prices of imports rising as much as 50 percent a month.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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