Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe Tuesday. This brings to an end a 37-year rule defined by brutality and economic collapse.
“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation… with immediate effect,” said speaker Mudenda, reading the letter.
Lawmakers had convened to debate a motion to impeach Mugabe, who has dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life since independence in 1980.
|Zimbabwe's members of parliament celebrate after Robert Mugabe's resignation on Nov. 21 in Harare.|
Mugabe’s resignation come after threats of impeachment by his own party on Monday.
The former president had insisted he would still hold power in Zimbabwe despite a military takeover and a noon deadline to end his 37-year autocratic rule.
In a televised address late Sunday, the 93-year-old veteran leader defied expectations that he would bring the curtain down on his reign, pitching the country into a second week of political crisis.
The speech provoked anger and disbelief among crowds who had gathered in bars and cafes to watch and raised concerns that Zimbabwe could be at risk of a violent backlash.
His once-loyal ZANU-PF party — who has already sacked him and told him to resign as head of state — warned it would seek to impeach him if he failed to quit by midday (1000 GMT).
Both the army and the influential war veterans’ association were expected to hold briefings in response to the crisis triggered by Mugabe’s refusal to go.
Ahead of the ZANU-PF deadline, a noisy group of demonstrators gathered at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare to call for Mugabe to go.
Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe almost unopposed since the country won independence from Britain.But his efforts to position his wife Grace as his successor triggered fury in the military that had underpinned his regime.