By Moshood Shakariyau
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has resigned from power, bringing an end to 37 years of rules and sparkling jubilant celebration in the nation’s streets.
A letter from Robert Mugabe read out by the speaker of the parliament said the decision was voluntarily and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.
The news abruptly halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him earlier.
Lawmakers from the ruling ZANU-PF party and opposition roared with glee and spontaneous scenes of joy erupted in the streets with people dancing, singing, honking cars horns and waving flags after Mugabe resignation announcement.
The ruling ZANU-PF says former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mugabe in power since 1980. Mr Mnangagwa’s sacking earlier this month triggered a political crisis.
Mnangagwa’s removal has been seen by many Zimbabwean has an attempt by Mugabe to clear way for his wife, Grace to succeed him and riled the Military leadership, who stepped in and put Mugabe under house arrest.
Mugabe, 93, was until his resignation, the oldest world leader. He had previously refused to quit despite last week Military takeover and days of protests by Zimbabwean, especially his own party members.
According to 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 Mnangagwa would be in power for 48 hours.
Speaking from an undisclosed location, Mnangagwa said he had fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him.
Robert Mugabe won elections during his 37 years in power, but over the past 15 years, it was marred by political violence against political opponents. He presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where people are on average 15% poorer than they were in 1980.
Meanwhile, United Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May said Mugabe resignation will provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule.
An activist and political candidate, Vimbaishe Musvaburi broke down in tears of joy while speaking to BBC. Vimbaishe said ‘’ we are tired of this man, we are so glad he is gone’’ ‘’we don’t want him anymore and yes today, it’s victory’’
Also reacted, African Union President, Alpha Conde said he was truly delighted by the news, but regretted at the way Mugabe’s rules has ended.