Published: 2017-11-21 18:37
Last Updated: 2017-11-22 09:56
After 37 years in power, the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has resigned with immediate effect, the speaker of the country’s parliament has said.
The surprise announcement came during a parliamentary hearing to impeach him and marks a new political era for the nation.
Lawmakers cheered in jubilation and people have begun celebrating in the streets.
The 93-year-old stunned Zimbabweans late Sunday, after an television address in which he surprised even his closest advisers by avoiding any mention of stepping down.
However, the country's ruling ZANU-PF party had already removed Mugabe as leader, naming Emmerson Mnangagwa in his place.
Mugabe’s final announcement of his resignation comes following an eight-day crisis, which started when the military took over last week in order to prevent the rise to power of Mugabe’s wife within the ruling Zanu-PF party.
This developed into a popular revolt against the ageing autocrat.
A letter submitted to parliament by the 93-year-old said his decision to resign was voluntary on his part.
Mugabe has dominated the political scene in Zimbabwe since it gained independence from the UK in 1980, and has been president of the impoverished country since 1987.
While he has won elections these have been tainted by violence against political opponents over the last 15 years.