Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe ‘resigns’

President Robert Mugabe has resigned as Zimbabwe’s leader

Scheduled impeachment proceedings were halted after the President sent a letter detailing his surprise resignation.

Robert Mugabe took power in Zimbabwe in 1980. Photograph: Google

Mr Mugabe initially declined to stand down after a military takeover in the country last week created uncertainty in his position.

His decision sparked protests in the capital, Harare, as the public moved to remove the world’s oldest leader.

Lawmakers cheered as the speaker read out Mr Mugabe’s letter. “I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation … with immediate effect”

The South African President, Jacob Zuma, will visit Zimbabwe tomorrow.

The 93-year-old’s tenure as leader has seem him preside over a deepening economic crisis resulting in people been on average 15% poorer now than when he took office in 1980.

Mugabe’s dismissal of his vice-president, Emerson Mnangagwa, two weeks ago is thought to have been the catalyst for the president’s ousting.

That decision is thought to have angered the military who thought Mr Mugabe was paving the way for his wife, Grace, to succeed him. As a result, the military stepped in and placed the President under house arrest.

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