Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Mugabe resigns, Zimbabwe dances in the streets

Mugabe resigns, Zimbabwe dances in the streets

Two other political sources told Reuters on Monday Mugabe had indeed agreed to resign but ZANU-PF did not want him to quit in front of the military, an act that would have made its intervention last week look more like a coup. "I feel like we've been liberated a second time".

Mr Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe following his dismissal, citing fears for his safety, and Zanu-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke would not disclose his whereabouts yesterday.

His wife, Grace Mugabe, is unexpectedly named head of Zanu-PF's Women's League.

ZANU-PF's action follows a weekend of high drama in Harare that culminated in reports Mugabe had agreed to stand down - only for him to dash the hopes of millions of his countrymen in a freaky and rambling national address on Sunday (Nov 19) night.

Nicholas Nyamaka, a 65-year-old taxi driver, said, "I used to think it would never come".

- November 6, 2017: Mugabe sacks fellow party veteran and vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, seen as Grace Mugabe's key rival in race to become Zimbabwe's next president.

In central Harare, a group of young men tore down a green metal street sign bearing Mugabe's name and smashed it repeatedly on the road.

The Zimbabwean parliament responded by opening impeachment proceedings against Mugabe, a process that will now end given his resignation.

Under section 97 (1) of the Zimbabwean constitution, a president or vice president can be removed from office for serious misconduct; failure to obey, uphold or defend the constitution; wilful violation of this constitution; or inability to perform the functions of the office because of physical or mental incapacity. Finally, Parliament can remove the president with a two-thirds vote in each of the two legislative chambers.

"Parliament is the ultimate expression of the will of the people outside an election and in my view is expressing national sentiment by implementing the impeachment", Mnangagwa said in a statement from an undisclosed location Tuesday, according to The Guardian.

Mnangagwa, whose firing led to a military takeover of Zimbabwe and efforts to oust Mugabe, broke his silence Tuesday, urging the embattled leader to step down. Mnangagwa, who said he had heard there were plans to "eliminate" him after his ouster, added that he "would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired".

"It capped an unprecedented week in which the military seized control and tens of thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans took to the streets in an extraordinary show of defiance to demand that he leave".

Underlying all of this is a power struggle between the Mugabe family and Mnangagwa, who has plenty of military allies.

After Mnangagwa fled overseas, the army took over the country and placed Mugabe under house arrest - provoking amazement and delight among many Zimbabweans as his autocratic reign appeared close to an end.

"He is now saying it is important to be part and parcel of what the people are saying when the people's voices have been ignored so far", said Okay Machisa, the executive director of ZimRights, a human rights group.

It was always likely to be a grand showdown had cabinet ministers attended the meeting on Tuesday morning, as the bulk of those remaining in the country had been at the forefront of calling for Mugabe's removal as party head.

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