Wild celebrations are said to have broken out as impeachment proceedings were called to a close, Zimbabwe’s parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda announced.
Jubilation broke out among MPs when Mudenda told the house, with members and senators seen throwing their hands in the air. The celebrations have continued outside Parliament, with Zimbabweans taking to the streets with joy. In his official resignation statement,
Mugabe said: ‘I Robert Gabriel Mugabe hereby formally tender my resignation as President 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 for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power.’
Zimbabweans have been filmed celebrating in Harare with many cheering, dancing and honking car horns. And the celebrations seem to be spreading, with Zimbabweans living in South Africa also taking to the streets in Johannesburg.
Zanu PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Reuters: ‘I am very happy that the president had chosen to go voluntarily.’ ‘This would have ended in serious embarrassment’ if the party was forced to impeach Mugabe, he said. Mugabe’s resignation is not believed to have made any reference to whoever will succeed him. But Zimbabwe war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa said earlier this week that Mugabe would be replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy who he sacked earlier this month. He is expected to take over within 48 hours.