PHOTOS: Zimbabweans celebrate as Robert Mugabe resigns

The president of Parliament has just read the letter of resignation of a man who was 37 years in charge of the country.

Robert Mugabe resigned today as president of Zimbabwe, said the speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, in an extraordinary session, putting an end to 37 years at the head of the country.

“I, Robert Mugabe, formally surrendered my resignation as president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect,” said Mudenda reading, under applause, the letter of resignation of the head of state.

Mudenda interrupted the joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate to read the letter of resignation, with immediate effect, of Mugabe as president and announced that tomorrow a new president will be appointed.

On the streets, the news was received with cheers and cars honked their horns.

Already in the morning the deposed vice president had warned that the longest-serving head of state in the world should recognize “the insatiable desire” for change.

The statements of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was dismissed earlier this month, had increased the enormous pressure on Mugabe to resign after nearly four decades in power, in which he went from being a champion of the struggle against the government of the white minority to be held responsible for the collapse of the economy, the dysfunction of the government and the infractions of human rights.

The resignation of Mugabe opens the doors for the former vice president to assume the leadership of the state.

The former vice president, who fled the country and has not shown himself in public during the crisis last week, said he had been invited to return by Mugabe “for a conversation” about recent events, but will not return for now, claiming that at the time of his dismissal there were plans under way to kill him.

“I will return as soon as conditions for security and stability exist,” said Mnangagwa, who has a large base of support in the Army. “The nation must never again be kidnapped by a person whose desire is to die in office at any price to the nation.”

The controversial first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, was positioning herself to succeed her husband, leading a faction of the party that resulted in the dismissal of Mnangagwa.

People were in the streets of Harare this morning asking for Mugabe’s resignation. AP

The prospect of a dynastic succession alarmed the Army, which last week confined Mugabe to his home and persecuted what he described as “delinquents” in his circle allegedly looting government resources, a reference to people close to the first lady.

Large crowds had taken to the streets of the capital, Harare, to demand the resignation of Mugabe.

Photos: AFP

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