Mnangagwa to Be Sworn in President as Mugabe Resigns

Emmerson Mnangagwa
  •  AU, UK, US welcome resignation

Okechukwu Uwaezuoke with agency reports

Shortly after the Zimbabwean parliament began an impeachment process to end Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule in the country that he fought to liberate from colonial rule, the embattled president finally threw in the towel Tuesday, paving the way for his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in as the country’s new president.

Immediately the Speaker of the parliament Jacob Mudenda announced Mugabe’s resignation, wild celebrations broke out at the joint sitting of parliament and suspended the impeachment process, reported Reuters.

There were also wild celebrations in the streets of Harare, as cars honked their horns and people danced and cheered the exit of the 93-year-old ruler.

Mugabe’s resignation, which was with immediate effect, ended his 37-year-old grip on power.
Mugabe, who had clung on for a week after the military intervention last Wednesday and his expulsion from his own ruling party ZANU-PF, had in a letter he submitted to parliament said his decision to resign was voluntary.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part,” the letter quoted by AFP read. “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 Speaker had earlier said that a motion to impeach Mugabe was before him and that lawmakers would adjourn to a hotel to begin the proceedings Tuesday.

Mugabe, who until Tuesday morning was still defiant, had held his weekly cabinet meeting with only five ministers and the attorney general in attendance while 17 others had opted to attend a meeting to plan the impeachment.
The ruling party had in a draft impeachment motion, called Mugabe a “source of instability”, accusing him of flouting the rule of law and presiding over an “unprecedented economic tailspin” in the last 15 years.

It also said he had abrogated his constitutional mandate to his hot-headed and unpopular 52-year-old wife, Grace, whose tilt at power triggered the backlash from the army that saw it put out tanks on the streets of the capital last week.

Shortly before that, his former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged him to resign immediately.
This was as thousands of demonstrators turned up outside the parliament building to egg on the lawmakers, chanting, dancing and waving placards.

Mnangagwa, whose sacking led to last week’s army takeover, fled the southern African country two weeks ago after being purged from the ruling party, said he feared a threat to his life and vowed not to return until his security was guaranteed.

Mugabe had since the beginning of the crisis been holed up in his deluxe “Blue Roof” mansion in Harare with his wife and members of his family and was only been seen twice in public.

The man, who led Zimbabwe’s liberation war and was hailed as one of Africa’s post-colonial heroes, saw his popularity plummet as the economy crumbled and opposition to his rule grew in the late 1990s.

He tightened his grip around the southern African country, seized white-owned farms, unleashed security forces to crush dissent and spoke of ruling until he was 100.

South African President Jacob Zuma and his Angolan counterpart Joao Lourenco were due to travel Wednesday to Zimbabwe to ratchet up the diplomatic pressure, according to South Africa’s state broadcaster.
With Mugabe’s resignation, Lovemore Matuke, ZANU-PF chief whip, told Reuters that Mnangagwa would be sworn in within 48 hours.

He added that Mnangagwa would serve the remainder of Mugabe’s term until the next general election in September 2018.

In its reaction to the turn of events in Zimbabwe, the African Union (AU) welcomed the resignation of Mugabe as the country’s president.

President Alpha Conde of Guinea and current chairperson of the AU, hailed Mugabe as a “great fighter” who should have left office a while back.

“It is a shame that he is leaving through the back door and that he is forsaken by the parliament,” Conde said, according to the BBC.

He added that the presidential election in Zimbabwe should be held in 2018 and that the African Union will offer all its support to the country.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Mugabe’s resignation would give 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,” AFP quoted her as saying 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.”

Also, a statement from the US Embassy in Zimbabwe, said Mugabe’s resignation “marks an historic moment” for the country and congratulated all Zimbabweans who raised their voices, according to ABC News.

The statement also said that “whatever short-term arrangements the government may establish, the path forward must lead to free, fair and inclusive elections”, urging “unwavering respect for the rule of law.”

Mugabe’s sudden exit from power was triggered by the rivalry between members of his ruling party’s elite over who will succeed him, rather than popular protests against his rule.

Mugabe’s sacking of Mnangagwa as vice-president this month apparently to pave the way for his wife to succeed him in office led to the military’s intervention last week. Apparently, Mnangagwa was plotting to succeed Mugabe with the backing of the military.

According to Reuters, the plot hoped to install an interim unity government backed by the blessing of the international community to allow for Zimbabwe to usher in a “new era”.

The former vice-president, who until he fell out of favour, was Mugabe’s key lieutenant for decades and stands accused of being complicit in repression against Zimbabweans who challenged the leader.

  • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

    Dem don replace their Babangida with their Abacha
    And just like us, at first they celebrated!!

  • josvinco

    I hope Mnangagwa , if sworn in , will emulate the likes of Mandela and Tambo Mbeki. To clear the way for pluralism and political opportunity for all qualified and aspiring Zimbabweans (blacks and minority whites).

    • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

      Then, u r expecting the leopard to change its spots.

  • remm ieet

    Zimbabwe should be easy to govern now, if logic is anything to go by. However, all will depend on whether the new leader allows Zimbabweans to enjoy true legitimacy without having to be mere observers in the governance of their own affairs. African people have always been in the throes of contending forces with all the cards shuffled against them. Hopefully Mnanaagwa will put this in mind and attempt to maintain a balance between those forces. Zimbabweans have no time to play crude politics as they are still licking their wounds from the Mugabe years. Mnanaagwa the crocodile should not use political office as a bunker to escape his responsibility towards the people.

    • BankyMons

      No. I do not think that Zimbabwe will be easy to govern given the massive geopolitics being played on her soil by the usual suspects – China, Britain, America and their cousins elsewhere. The thing is, the black man needs to GROW up really and look inwards,,,,as they say where I come: what is eating the fish lives inside the fish. The real elephant in the room is what @Jon West said in his post above – white land and property ownership. Europeans want the land returned to them at all cost as the lands are not just ‘farms’ of agricultural produce but ‘farms’ of precious minerals including diamond. So nothing on earth will save Zimbabweans from their current problems. I reckon it’s going to get worse once Britain and her co-conspirators swing into action to get ‘Crocodile’ to play ball. People tend to forget that Mugabe was the darling of the West until he decided to redistribute the land and do land reforms – that was when his problems and that his countrymen and women started. Let’s not forget as they say where we come from ”if you really want to trace of the origin of murder, you must go and ask the blacksmith”. I think the next phase of their problems is about to begin – maybe something that could lead to civil war. Don’t forget Somalia and Sudan.

      • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

        Too right.

      • remm ieet

        You’ve said it all

  • Daniel Obior

    What horrible choices! The “Crocodile” Mnangagwa, will be sworn in to replace the “Vampire” Mugabe, both of ZANU-PF. Standing by in waiting is the stooge of the West, Tsvangirai of the opposition party. The Zimbabwean people have been dealt the worst hand of cards with such terrible choices. Reminds one of a zoo called Nigeria.

    • Jon West

      There is now no way out for the hapless people of Zimbabwe. As long as the new Government does not restore seized white-owned land,and guarantees the “property rights” of the absentee an in-situ white landlords, the sanctions will continue and like in Venezuela, the people will pay the price of their governments intransigience.

      South Africa is relatively stable ,because both Mandela and his heirs have trodden softly on the politically and economically dangerous land of white property rights, but later the chicken will come home to roost, and then the International Community”(read America and Britain) will bare their fangs. Mugabe had the opportunity to manage the expectations of his people ,while retaining a semblance of white property rights, but he, like all African leaders , chose to enjoy the fruits of his labours as a liberation leader. Now he goes home in utter disgrace.

      The Nigger ain’t got no sense. He does the know how the world works, he never built anything. Robert Gabriel Mugabe encapsulates this tragic statement.

      • muyi mok

        You said something that is thoughtful and smart for once.