BREAKING: Mugabe resigns, Mnangagwa to take over after 48 hours

Zimbabwe is celebrating after President Robert Mugabe has resigned after 37 years as head of state on Tuesday.

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Last Updated at 18:54

18:52

Zimbabwe has chance of future ‘free of oppression’

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the resignation of president RobertMugabe on Tuesday gave Zimbabwe “an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule”.

“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,” she said in a statement.”

As Zimbabwe’s oldest friend we will do all we can to support this, working with our international and regional partners to help the country achieve the brighter future it so deserves.

“Mugabe, who had led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, resigned as president on Tuesday as parliament began impeachment proceedings in the wake of a military takeover.Last week, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed hope for change in Zimbabwe but warned that “nobody wants simply to see the transition from one unelected tyrant to the next”.

– AFP


18:50

Pendulum of history swings against Mugabe

Thirty-seven years ago, Robert Mugabe was feted as a titan who had won Africa’s last great war against colonialism.

Today, in the twilight of his life, Mugabe finds himself loathed by millions of his citizens for a rule tarnished by despotism, cronyism, corruption and economic ruin.


18:40

Zimbabwe: From military takeover to Mugabe’s exit

Here is a timeline of the political crisis in Zimbabwe where veteran President Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday following a military takeover and unprecedented mass protests demanding he step down.

Army takes control

November 14: Tanks are seen moving on the outskirts of the capital Harare a day after army chief Constantino Chiwenga denounces Mugabe’s sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa on November 6.

Mnangagwa is seen as a rival of Mugabe’s wife Grace, 52, to succeed the veteran 93-year-old leader.Later, heavy gunfire is heard near Mugabe’s residence in Harare.

Mugabe under house arrest

November 15: By the early hours, military vehicles are on the capital’s streets, but the army denies staging a coup, giving a televised address saying Mugabe is safe and that they are “only targeting criminals around him”.

South Africa says Mugabe has told its president, Jacob Zuma, by telephone that he is under house arrest but is “fine”.

The European Union and former colonial power Britain urge a peaceful resolution of the crisis while South Africa warns against any “unconstitutional changes” of government.

Mugabe refuses to resign

November 16: Mugabe refuses to step down during talks with generals, a source close to the army leadership says in a move which enrages many Zimbabweans who see it as a bid to “buy time” to negotiate a favourable end to his 37-year reign.

A day later he appears at a university graduation ceremony, acting as if nothing has happened.

Opposition grows

November 17: Eight out of the 10 branches of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF taking to state television to demand he stand down, in a call echoed by the influential war veterans association, which urges people to join huge street protests at the weekend.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the people of Zimbabwe must choose their own government through elections.

Mass protests

November 18: Tens of thousands of people flood Zimbabwe’s streets demanding Mugabe’s resignation in a joyful celebration of his apparently imminent demise.

The display of open defiance would have been unthinkable just a week earlier.

Mugabe hangs on

November 19: ZANU-PF sacks Mugabe as leader and demands he resign as head of state. It also expels his wife Grace and names the ousted Mnangagwa as the new party chief.

The ruling party also says Mugabe must resign as president by midday Monday, or face impeachment.But in a live televised address, Mugabe defies expectations he will resign, instead saying he will preside over ZANU-PF’s congress in December.

Parliament starts impeachment 

November 21: After the deadline passes without Mugabe resigning, Zimbabwe’s parliament gathers to start the impeachment process, with lawmakers from across the spectrum calling on the president to quit.

Mnangagwa, the country’s likely next president, calls for Mugabe to stand down in his first intervention since the army takeover, saying he should “heed this clarion call” so the country can move forward.

Mugabe resigns

As MPs gather for a special joint session of parliament, speaker Jacob Mudenda reads out a letter from Mugabe resigning as president after a 37-year rule with immediate effect.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part. It arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability.”

The bombshell announcement sparks scenes of wild celebration in the streets of Harare, with car horns honking and crowds dancing and cheering over the departure of the autocrat who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence.

– AFP


18:36

Zimbabwe has chance of a future ‘free of oppression’ – Britain

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the resignation of Robert Mugabe on Tuesday gave Zimbabwe “an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule”.

She said Britain, the former colonial power, would do “all we can” to support “the desire of the Zimbabwean people for free and fair elections and the opportunity to rebuild the country’s economy under a legitimate government”.

– AFP


18:31

“We are just so happy that things are finally going to change,” Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, told AFP.

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.

His grip on power was shattered last week when the armoured military vehicles took to the streets, blockaded parliament and soldiers placed the president under house arrest in an operation that had all the hallmarks of a coup.

But instead his generals stressed they were simply “arresting” criminals around Mugabe – a reference to supporters of Grace – and even allowed the one-time liberation hero to appear at a public function and deliver a TV speech stressing that he retained control.

– AFP



18:27

A group of ecstatic Zimbabweans chanting “rest in peace, rest in peace” outside the rainbow towers where the Parliamentarians met earlier

18:22

Mnangagwa to take over after 48 hours

A Zimbabwe ruling party official says that recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will take over as the country’s leader within 48 hours after President Robert Mugabe resigned.

Ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke says Mnangagwa, who fled the country after his firing, “is not far from here”.

The official spoke to the AP immediately after the Parliament speaker announced Mugabe’s immediate resignation during impeachment proceedings.Matuke says they look forward to Mugabe doing the handover of power “so that Mnangagwa moves with speed to work for the country”.

– AP



18:17

Car horns and wild cheers in Harare as Mugabe resigns 

Car horns blared and cheering crowds raced through the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare Tuesday as news spread that President Robert Mugabe, 93, had resigned after 37 years in power.

“We are just so happy that things are finally going to change,” Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, told AFP.

“We woke up every morning waiting for this day. This country has been through tough times.”

– AFP


18:13

“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.

Mugabe says he is resigning immediately and voluntarily in order to have a “smooth transfer of power” after 37 years in charge.

– AP


18:11

Zimbabweans celebrates Mugabe’s resignation 



18:07

Robert Mugabe resigns: Zimbabwe parliament speaker

Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda announced, bringing the curtain down on a 37-year reign.

Mugabe was swept from power as his  autocratic rule crumbled within days of a military takeover.

“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.

The bombshell news was delivered to a special joint session of parliament.Lawmakers had convened to debate a motion to impeach Mugabe, who has dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life since independence in 1980.

It was greeted on the streets of the capital Harare with car horns and wild cheering.

– AFP



18:04

Zimbabwe’s Parliament has erupted in cheers as the speaker announces the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

The speaker stopped impeachment proceedings to say they had received a letter from Mugabe with the resignation “with immediate effect”.

It is an extraordinary end for the world’s oldest head of state after 37 years in power.

– AP



17:53

The Zimbabwean speaker has announced the President Robert Mugabe has resigned after being in office for 37 years. 


17:40

Here’s how impeachment works in Zimbabwe

An expert on Zimbabwean law says impeachment is a process that requires a vote, a committee investigation and a second vote.

Derek Matyszak, senior researcher for the Institute for Security Studies, says the first step is for both houses of Parliament to pass the impeachment motion by a 50% majority.

Then a joint committee is formed to investigate allegations and determine if there is adequate evidence that Mugabe should be impeached.

If the committee recommends impeachment, both houses must pass the impeachment by a two-thirds majority, which is at least 233 seats of the 347-seat total.

Matyszak says that “the moment they vote to accept the report and impeach Mugabe, he loses office.

The constitution is clear about that. Mugabe can appeal to the judiciary but he would be out of office.”

It is not clear how long the process will take or how extensive the investigation would be, including with possible testimony from Mugabe. Matyszak says that “I think it will be fast-tracked, but they want to take enough time to give the proceedings an air of propriety.

They want this to look like a legitimate proceeding. That could be done so the final vote is on Wednesday or Thursday”.

Parliament is currently hearing allegations and has not yet formed a committee.


17:35

Zimbabwe lawmakers cheer as allegations against Mugabe read out in next step of impeachment. – AP

17:30

Parliament speaker Jacob Mubenda said the motion was “unprecedented in the history of post-independence Zimbabwe”.- BBC

17:18

Zuma, Angolan president head to Zimbabwe on behalf of SADC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has decided that President Jacob Zuma and Angolan President Joao Lourenco will travel to Zimbabwe to meet stakeholders and assess the situation.

This followed an urgent meeting on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe.

The meeting was also attended by Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Tanzanian International Relations Minister Augustine Mahiga.

“Summit of Organ Troika Plus SADC Chair noted with great concern the unfolding political situation in Zimbabwe,” a communique released to the media said.


17:06

The impeachment motion was introduced by the ruling party and seconded by the opposition MDC.

Parliament then moved into the next stage of forming a committee to investigate the allegations against Mugabe, including that he “allowed his wife to usurp constitutional power” and that he is “of advanced age” and no longer has the physical capacity to run the government.

“The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call and resign forthwith so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” Mnangagwa said in his statement, after more than a week of silence.

Mnangagwa, who fled the country and has not appeared in public during the past week’s political turmoil, said Mugabe had invited him to return to Zimbabwe “for a discussion” on recent events.

However, he said he will not return for now, alleging that there had been plans to kill him at the time of his firing.

“I will be returning as soon as the right conditions for security and stability prevail,” said Mnangagwa, who has a loyal support base in the military.

“Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office at whatever cost to the nation.” – AP


17:04

Zimbabweans celebrate amid impeachment move against President Robert Mugabe. 

17:00

From AP

Zimbabwe’s Parliament has launched impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday, with both ruling party and opposition support, while the recently fired vice president said the world’s oldest head of state should acknowledge the nation’s “insatiable desire” for a leadership change and resign immediately.

The statement by Emmerson Mnangagwa added to immense pressure on the 93-year-old Mugabe to quit after nearly four decades in power, during which he evolved from a champion of the fight against white minority rule into a figure blamed for a collapsing economy, government dysfunction and human rights violations.

The ruling Zanu-PF party began impeachment proceedings against Mugabe after its Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader and select Mnangagwa as his replacement, a move that eventually could allow the former vice president to become head of state.

Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, more feared than popular.

Crowds rallied outside Parliament, dancing and singing. Some people placed photos of Mugabe in the street so that cars would run over them.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party said the culture of the ruling party “must end” and everyone must put their heads together and work toward free and fair elections.


16:51

Scenes outside Zimbabwe’s parliament, which is expected to impeach President Robert Mugabe.

16:49

Zimbabwean MPs are about to resume debating the impeachment motion against President Robert Mugabe.

Proceedings are being moved to a hotel because the parliament building cannot accommodate members of both houses. – BBC


16:34



16:28


16:27

Motion to impeach Mugabe introduced, seconded

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has made a motion to impeach President Robert Mugabe and opposition party MDC has seconded it.

Now lawmakers from both houses of Parliament are relocating to a larger venue.

Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife to “usurp” power and of being too old to rule. He has been in charge since the end of white minority rule in 1980, but the military moved in last week after he fired his deputy and appeared to position his unpopular wife to succeed him.

It is not clear how long impeachment would take, though the ruling party has said it could vote Mugabe out as early as on Wednesday.

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