Robert Mugabe resigns as President of Zimbabwe after 37 years
Nov 21, 2017 Africa 4314 By Abdulkerimu Oare
- Robert Mugabe resigns as President of Zimbabwe after 37 years.
- Residents go ecstatic after the announcement in the streets.
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- Mugabe, 93, led Zimbabwe's fight for independence in the 1970s and came to power in 1980
After ruling his country for 37 years, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Tuesday announced his resignation from office.
Mugabe who had initially stated he would not resign even after meetings with military leaders and calls from his ruling party eventually gave in after the country's parliament started taking steps to impeach him.
Ecstatic cheers followed when Jacob Mudenda read the resignation letter to parliament.
"I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation ... with immediate effect," said Mudenda, reading the letter.
The news also sparked scenes of jubilation in the capital, Harare, as large crowds cheered, danced and sang celebrating Mugabe's departure for hours.
"People are coming out onto the streets, they are calling this day Independence Day," Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Harare, said.
"It's getting chaotic," she added. "Some people still can't believe this has happened. People say they are really excited and hoping for a better future."
Mugabe, 93, led Zimbabwe's fight for independence in the 1970s. He came to power in 1980 and his 37-year rule was criticised for repression of dissent, election rigging, and for causing the country's economic collapse.
"Ever since I was born, I have never thought that I would see this day," Anthony Mutambirwa, a Harare resident, told Al Jazeera as news of Mugabe's resignation spread.
"I'm so glad. For 37 years, we have been suffering."