The African Union Commission has welcomed the decision of Robert Mugabe to resign as President of Zimbabwe.
In a statement on Tuesday, 21 November, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said the “decision to resign paves the way for a transition process, owned and led by the sovereign people of Zimbabwe”.
He said President Mugabe will be remembered as a “fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation. Today’s decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster President Mugabe’s political legacy”.
“Throughout the years, the people of Zimbabwe have demonstrated remarkable resilience and resourcefulness, and commitment to their country. The Chairperson of the Commission is confident that they, together with all their leaders, will remain steadfast in their commitment to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.
“The Chairperson of the Commission, recalling the relevant African Union instruments, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, pledges the Union’s full support to the Zimbabwean people and leaders in the period ahead. In this respect, the African Union will continue to work closely with the Southern African Development Community, the efforts and commitment of which it hails,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s former vice-president, whose sacking led to the shock resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe, will be sworn in as the new president on Friday, the state broadcaster says.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, would fly home on Wednesday, it added.
His dismissal led the ruling party and the military to intervene and force an end to Mr Mugabe’s 37-year long rule.
The news sparked wild celebrations across the country late into the night.
The announcement that the 93-year-old was stepping down came in the form of a letter read out in parliament on Wednesday, abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him.
In it, Mr Mugabe said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary.