Robert Mugabe on Tuesday resigned as Zimbabwe’s president after nearly four decades of ruling the African nation, according to Reuters.
Reuters on Tuesday reported that Mugabe’s exit came shortly after Zimbabwe’s parliament began the process to impeach him.
Wild celebrations erupted at a joint sitting of parliament as Speaker Jacob Mudenda announced Mugabe’s resignation and suspended the impeachment procedure against him.
Mugabe, 93, clung on to power for nearly a week after Zimbabwe’s army took over government offices and a state broadcaster in Harare, the country’s capital city, last week.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party – which Mugabe also co-founded – on Sunday expelled him as its chief before setting a deadline the next day for his resignation.
The ZANU-PF’s leaders also vowed that Mugabe did not step down by midday Monday that its members would take action to impeach him.
The deadline passed without Mugabe publicly acknowledging he would resign, however, leading to Tuesday’s events after the impeachment process started against him.
The political turmoil in Zimbabwe stems from Mugabe’s firing of its former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, earlier this month.
Mnangagwa was the ZANU-PF’s preferred successor for Mugabe, and his ouster seemingly cleared the way for the latter’s wife to follow him into office.
Critics have dubbed Grace Mugabe, 52, as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping.
Mnangagwa – who is nicknamed “The Crocodile” – is expected to take over as Zimbabwe’s president having been made the ZANU-PF’s new leader Sunday.
Robert Mugabe held sway over Zimbabwe for 37 years, initially serving as its prime minister after it gained independence from Great Britain in 1980.
Zimbabwe’s economy has declined drastically under Robert Mugabe’s tenure, with government mismanagement and corruption serving as major factors.
Grace Mugabe is controversial in Zimbabwe, and she is thought to have scant allies in either the ZANU-PF or the Zimbabwean military.