SPECIAL NOTE: Hm! Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule! He waited until the last moment when he realized he had no choice…I have to assume Mugabe remembers this…”No storming the presidential palace, no ugly end at the hands of a crowd like Col Gaddafi, no execution by firing squad like President Ceausescu of Romania, no hanging like Saddam Hussein.” He knows what PEOPLE POWER or MILITARY POWER could do to his aging body and mind and rein of terror! Yes, I have seen enough violent deaths in many parts of Africa…Mugabe is smart to step down before anything violent might happen to him and his family, especially his young wife…who he wanted to replace him…to continue his rule of terror in Zimbabwe…I read stories about the “impeachment” attempts in America because many are simply fed up with Businessman Donald Trump, but USA is slightly more civilized than other non-European countries in the world…our president is now spared violent death in the hands of those, now in increasing number, simply fed up with his domestic and foreign policies…and I hope he has learned a thing or two having met President Xi Jinping in China, now considered the most powerful man in the world…a gentle soul who knows how to govern his enormous empire in China…and now his economic plans winning the praise, envy and support of many countries in the world today! President Xi is setting an example of what good, effective and long-lasting GOVERNANCE means, both in China and the rest of Eurasia and now beyond…in this world without borders! Mugabe is smart to step down quickly, feeling the pressure of impeachment from his once loyal supporters…or face violent death in the hands of PEOPLE POWER! At least he will now be remembered for the good and bad he did for Zimbabwe…and continues to hold his head high! Steve November 21, 2017
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule
BBC WORLD NEWS November 21, 2017
• Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has said.
A letter from Mr Mugabe said the decision was voluntary and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.
The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him and sparked wild celebrations on the nation’s streets.
The ruling Zanu-PF party says former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980.
Mr Mnangagwa’s sacking earlier this month triggered a political crisis.
It had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.
After the resignation announcement, lawmakers roared in jubilation.
Mr Mugabe, 93, was until his resignation the world’s oldest leader. He had previously refused to quit despite last week’s military takeover and days of protests.
Media captionScenes of jubilation on the streets of the capital
According to the constitution his successor should be the current vice-president, Phelekezela Mphoko, a supporter of Grace Mugabe.
But Zanu-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Reuters news agency that Mr Mnangagwa would be in office “within 48 hours”.
Speaking from an undisclosed location earlier on Tuesday, Mr Mnangagwa said he had fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him.
An untypical end
Most people assumed that the only way Robert Mugabe would give up being president was to die in his bed. He probably thought so too.
In fact the last of the old-style 1970s and 80s liberation leaders most untypically resigned in writing. Perhaps that says something about the way the world has changed in the 21st Century.
No storming the presidential palace, no ugly end at the hands of a crowd like Col Gaddafi, no execution by firing squad like President Ceausescu of Romania, no hanging like Saddam Hussein.
Zimbabwe, in spite of everything Robert Mugabe visited upon it, is essentially a peaceable, gentle country. And despite all the immense crimes for which he was responsible, he is in some ways an intellectual, rather than a brutal thug along the lines of, say, Idi Amin.
He’ll be remembered for the massacres in Matabeleland in the 1980s, for the farm invasions of the 1990s and later, and for the brutal repression of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change when it seemed on course to win the 2008 presidential election.
The man who seems about to take his place, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was deeply involved in most of those crimes, yet people in Zimbabwe, like the outside world, will be so relieved to see Mr Mugabe go that they will be tempted to forget all that.
They’ll also forget the few unquestionably good things Robert Mugabe did. Zimbabwe, for instance, has an extraordinarily high literacy rate, because of him. But that’s certainly not what he’ll be remembered for.
‘Let him rest in his last days’
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Mugabe’s resignation “provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule”.
She said that former colonial power Britain, “as Zimbabwe’s oldest friend”, will do all it can to support free and fair elections and the rebuilding of the Zimbabwean economy.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told the BBC he hoped that Zimbabwe was on a “new trajectory” that would include free and fair elections. He said Mr Mugabe should be allowed to “go and rest for his last days”.
In other reaction:
The US Embassy in Harare, the capital, said it was a “historic moment” and congratulated Zimbabweans who “raised their voices and stated peacefully and clearly that the time for change was overdue”
South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance welcomed the move, saying Mr Mugabe had turned from “liberator to dictator”
Prominent Zimbabwean opposition politician David Coltart tweeted: “We have removed a tyrant but not yet a tyranny”
Civil society group the Platform for Concerned Citizens called for dialogue between all political parties, which it said should lead to the formation of a national transitional authority
Robert Mugabe won elections during his 37 years in power, but over the past 15 years these were marred by violence against political opponents.
He presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where people are on average 15% poorer now than they were in 1980.
Media captionActivist and political candidate Vimbaishe Musvaburi “We are tired of this man, we are so glad he is gone”
However, Mr Mugabe was not forced out after decades in power by a popular mass movement but rather as a result of political splits within his Zanu-PF party.
The leader of the influential liberation war veterans – former allies of Mr Mugabe – said after the army takeover that Mr Mugabe was a “dictator”, who “as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife”.
‘It has happened’
Mr Mugabe’s decision to finally resign sparked joy in the streets.
“We are just so happy that things are finally going to change,” Togo Ndhlalambi, a hairdresser, told the AFP news agency.
“I am the happiest person under the sun right now, because I always believed that Mugabe was going to step down in my lifetime and it has happened,” human rights activist Linda Masarira told the BBC.
“And now going forward it’s time for the opposition to reorganise and ensure that we will have a government that cares for the people. And everyone has to be included.”
Robert Mugabe – Timeline of a political life
1964: Imprisoned by Rhodesian government
1980: Wins post-independence elections
1996: Marries Grace Marufu
2000: Loses referendum, pro-Mugabe militias invade white-owned farms and attack opposition supporters
2008: Comes second in first round of elections to Morgan Tsvangirai who pulls out of run-off amid nationwide attacks on his supporters
2009: Amid economic collapse, swears in Mr Tsvangirai as prime minister, who serves in uneasy government of national unity for four years
2017: Sacks long-time ally Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, paving the way for his wife Grace to succeed him. Army intervenes and forces him to step down
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, under impeachment, resigns after 37 years in power
A protester holds a portrait of Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, outside the Zimbabwean parliament on Nov. 21 in Harare.)
Robyn Dixon Contact Reporter Los Angeles Times
Zimbabweans celebrated in the streets after President Robert Mugabe resigned Tuesday, a stunning end to nearly 40 years of leadership announced in parliament during impeachment proceedings against Mugabe.
Parliament’s speaker stopped proceedings to say lawmakers had received a letter from the president indicating his resignation was effective immediately
The resignation came with Mugabe facing a possible swift removal by parliament through impeachment and after only a handful of Cabinet ministers appeared at a meeting he called Tuesday.
The resignation follows immense pressure on Mugabe to quit after nearly four decades in power, during which he evolved from a champion of the fight against white minority rule into a figure blamed for a collapsing economy, government dysfunction and human rights violations.
Word of the resignation was met with parliament erupting into cheers. Television footage showed many people singing and dancing in the streets.
The ruling ZANU-PF party was beginning impeachment proceedings against Mugabe after its Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader and select Emmerson Mnangagwa as his replacement, a move that eventually could allow the former vice president to become head of state. Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, more feared than popular.
Mugabe’s resignation comes amid concerns that Zimbabwe’s military, which took control last week and stripped Mugabe of executive power, does not intend to move the country toward an open democracy, as the opposition demands, but wants to see the ruling ZANU-PF party retain firm control.
Mnangagwa, who has been in hiding since Mugabe sacked him, on Tuesday had made his first public statement since the army took power, calling on Mugabe to resign.
Mnangagwa said Mugabe had called him and invited him to Zimbabwe for talks. Mnangagwa said he would not return to Zimbabwe until he could be sure of his safety, even though his allies in the military are in charge and his enemies in the ZANU-PF have been arrested and removed from power.
“Given the events that followed my dismissal I cannot trust my life in President Mugabe’s hands,” he said.
Mnangagwa said after he was sacked, he was warned by his security detail that he was in danger and could be killed unless he fled the country.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans had clearly shown they wanted Mugabe to step down and he should respect the will of the people.
“The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call and resign forthwith so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy.”
He said the military action to take control of the country was code named Operation Restore Legacy, and was “aimed at preserving the ethos of our struggle against British colonialism.”
Mnangagwa and other senior figures in the government and military see the preservation of the gains of the liberation struggle against white minority rule as a ZANU-PF prerogative. They also see the opposition as disorganized and unlikely to win elections.
But they also want to attract foreign investors and development aid and may agree to a transitional government, retaining the real levers of power in the military and security services.