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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, December 15, 2017

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Jubliant Zimbabweans celebrate Mugabe’s resignation

93-year-old finally stepped down

Share on Facebook November 22, 2017, Reporter : BNN, Reader : 414

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HARARE, Zimbabwe - Faced with an imminent impeachment, Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old finally stepped down as the President of the troubled nation.

Mugabe's forced resignation Tuesday after 37 years in power led jubilant Zimbabweans to celebrate through the day.

On Tuesday, as the Parliament opened an impeachment process to end Mugabe’s rule,  the 93-year-old finally stood aside as the head of the Southern African nation.

The world's oldest leader had presided over a worsening economy and rampant corruption in the once-prosperous African nation.

For a week after an army takeover and the expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party, Mugabe clung onto power despite being told to stand down by his own party and hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans.

During a joint sitting of Parliament when Speaker Jacob Mudenda announced Mugabe’s resignation “with immediate effect” and suspended the impeachment procedure, wild celebrations broke out in the country.

Mugabe said in a letter read out in Parliament, “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.”

Mudenda said moves were under way to ensure a new leader could take over within 48 hours.

Mugabe, who delivered a rambling address on live television on Sunday, offered no concessions to his critics, and failed to announce his resignation as widely expected.

In his address, Mugabe dismissed criticism despite tens of thousands of people holding a demonstration in the streets, celebrating a military takeover of the government and calling for his resignation.

The 93-year-old autocrat said, “We cannot be guided by bitterness or revengefulness which would not makes us any better ... Zimbabweans” and added that he would preside over a special congress of the ruling Zanu-PF party scheduled for next month – suggesting he has no immediate intention of stepping down.

Mugabe clarified that he believed that the military operation launched on Tuesday last week by army commanders was motivated by “a deep patriotic concern for the stability of the nation” which “did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order”

He said, “I am aware that many developments have occurred in the party, given the failings of the past, and anger they might have triggered in some quarters .... [but] I am confident that from tonight our whole nation will put shoulder to the wheel.”

Earlier on Sunday, the veteran leader, who has been in power for 37 years was removed as the leader of the Zanu-PF and was told by 200 of the party’s top officials gathered at an extraordinary meeting in Harare to resign as the head of state or face impeachment when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice-president who was sacked by Mugabe 13 days back leading to the military takeover, was appointed interim leader of the party.

Mnangagwa is widely expected to take over from Mugabe as president.

Thousands of Zimbabweans poured onto the streets of the capital Harare to celebrate with dancing, singing, honking and cheers as news of the resignation quickly spread.

Outside a conference centre where the impeachment process was taking place, people chanted, “Welcome to the new Zimbabwe.”

One supporter said, “I am very happy with what has happened. I have suffered a lot at the hands of Mugabe’s Government.”

Mugabe’s sudden downfall was sparked by rivalry between members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite over who will succeed him, rather than popular protests against his long rule.

Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as The Crocodile, is expected to return to Zimbabwe from his brief exile and take over as president.

Mugabe had been in power since the creation of an independent Zimbabwe from the former Rhodesia in 1980.

Although Zimbabwe is a democracy, but 

Over the past 15 years elections have been marred by accusations of rigging and violence against political opponents.

 

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