• STV
  • MySTV

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe resigns after 37 years

The decision has sparked wild scenes of celebration in the country's parliament.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe PA

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has resigned, ending his 37-year rule of the country.

The parliamentary speaker made the announcement, stopping impeachment proceedings against Mr Mugabe to say he had received a resignation letter from him "with immediate effect".

An official from Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, said the recently-fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will take over as leader within 48 hours.

"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 for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power," Mr Mugabe said in his letter which was read out in parliament, sparking cheers and dancing.

Cars began honking horns and people cheered in the streets, as the news spread like wildfire across the capital, Harare.

Zimbabweans celebrate Robert Mugabe's resignation in Harare.
Zimbabweans celebrate Robert Mugabe's resignation in Harare. Credit: AP/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Before the resignation, crowds rallied outside parliament, dancing and singing.

Some people placed photos of Mr Mugabe in the street so that cars would run over them.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party said the culture of the ruling party, ZANU-PF, "must end" and everyone must put their heads together and work toward free and fair elections.

Mr Mugabe's resignation follows moves by both Zimbabwe's ruling and opposition parties to impeach the 93-year-old leader.

Impeachment allegations against Mr Mugabe included that he "allowed his wife to usurp constitutional power" and that he is "of advanced age" and too incapacitated to rule.

Mr Mugabe also was accused of allowing unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe to threaten to kill former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and other officials.

Emmerson Mnangagwa (left) and Robert Mugabe at a gathering in early November.
Emmerson Mnangagwa (left) and Robert Mugabe at a gathering in early November. Credit: PA

Earlier today pressure had come from Mr Mnangagwa, who said Mr Mugabe should acknowledge the nation's "insatiable desire" for a leadership change and resign immediately. It is a stunning end for what was the world's oldest head of state.

Mr Mugabe has been in charge since the end of white minority rule in 1980, but the military moved in last week after he fired Mr Mnangagwa and appeared to position the polarising first lady to succeed him.

Grace Mugabe was long seen as her husband's successor.
Grace Mugabe was long seen as her husband's successor. Credit: PA

The prospect of a dynastic succession alarmed the military, which confined Mr Mugabe to his home last week and targeted what it called "criminals" around him who were allegedly looting state resources - a reference to associates of the first lady.|

British PM Theresa May said his resignation allows Zimbabwe to move on "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," Ms May said.

"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."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.