Robert Mugabe has finally resigned as president of Zimbabwe, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has revealed.
A letter from Mr. Mugabe said that the decision was voluntary and that he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.
The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him.
Lawmakers roared in jubilation and people have begun celebrating in the streets.
Mr Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite last week’s military takeover and days of protests.
Botswana’s President Ian Khama also joined other top leaders to appeal to the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in an open letter calling on him to resign. He said Mr. Mugabe should listen to the wishes of his people and “do the honourable thing by voluntarily relinquishing power.”
Mr. Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980. He has won elections, but over the past 15 year, these have been marred by violence against political opponents.
He has presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where people are on average 15% poorer now than they were in 1980.
What triggered the moves to oust him was his dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice-president two weeks ago.
That decision was seen by many as clearing the way for Mr Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to succeed her husband as leader. It riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.
Prominent Zimbabwean opposition politician David Coltart is celebrating the end of President Robert Mugabe’s rule, but is worried about what comes next.
Army tanks are moving out of the city centre in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, a website which keeps a close on political developments in the southern African state has revealed.
The military took power in Zimbabwe last Wednesday, setting off the extraordinary chain of events which led to President Robert Mugabe’s resignation.
The US embassy in Zimbabwe has called President Robert Mugabe’s resignation “historic”, saying it is an opportunity for the nation to “set itself on a new path” that will lead to free and fair elections.
The US was a fierce critic of Mugabe, accusing him of being repressive and ruining the economy through a controversial land reform programme.
MPs reaction to Mugabe resignation
MPs reaction to Mugabe resignation pic.twitter.com/EN9weQ3sFB
— Open Parly ZW (@OpenParlyZw) November 21, 2017
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