Wild celebrations have covered Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and other parts of the country following news that the country’s only ever president had finally resigned from office.
Mugabe’s resignation is expected to ease tension that had engulfed Zimbabwe one week after the army denounced his leadership and arrested several of his ministers and top police officers.
Chants of independence and freedom spread from the country’s Parliament to the streets of Harare and elsewhere, according to the BBC, after the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda read out a letter from Mugabe accepting to step down.
The BBC’s wide coverage of the political crisis culminated with emotion-filled chants of freedom and independence.
Similar overflow of emotion has been palpable on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
The political cult that had become of Mugabe’s hold on Zimbabwe for 37 years had captured the global attention so much so that his resignation sparked a social media activity and made #Mugabe and #Zimbabwe the most written words on the platforms.
According to the BBC, Mugabe’s said he voluntarily agreed to step down to “allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power,”
But the letter didn’t come until Parliament had embarked on an impeachment process, which was considered as the last legal step to removing him, after initial pleas failed.
Having initially rejected calls from the army and his own ZANU-PF party to step down, the resignation came as a surprise to many.
Although the military declined to call it a coup, their involvement in removing a sitting president has set a new record as the most peaceful ‘coup’ without anyone having died from it.
According to Zimbabwe’s constitution, Mugabe’s successor is supposed to be the current Vice-President, Phelekezela Mphoko, a supporter of his wife Grace Mugabe.
But media reports indicate that Zanu-PF have instead lined up Mugabe’s former vice-president and rival Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in on Wednesday or Thursday.