Zimbabwean President resigns after 37 years in office

The 93-year-old has finally stepped down after days of intense pressure.

The 93-year-old's resignation comes after a week of intense pressure from the military and the public.

Despite an army takeover and expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party, Mugabe had refused to step down in a defiant televised speech on Sunday, November 19, 2017. However, he sent a letter of resignation to the Zimbabwean parliament on Tuesday, November 21.

Parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda read the letter in a surprise announcement that sent lawmakers, and crowds in the streets of Zimbabwe, into wild jubilation.

Mugabe's resignation letter read, "In terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe, amendment number 20, 2013.

"Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda at 13:53 hours, 21st November, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.

"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 to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability.

"Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe."

The lawmakers had been meeting in a joint parliament on Tuesday to trigger impeachment proceedings against Mugabe after he failed to relinquish power.

Many cabinet ministers had also failed to show up at a meeting that the president had called for earlier on Tuesday morning.

Mudenda announced that a new leader will be in place by the end of Wednesday as Mugabe is expected to be replaced by ousted former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had also called on the president to resign earlier on Tuesday.

Mugabe's sudden dismissal of Mnangagwa weeks ago had sparked a wave of discontent in the country as it was seen as a clear ploy to put his wife, 52-year-old Grace, in prime position to succeed him.

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