by Graham Pierrepoint
After a lengthy coup – which was being reported by some involved as not even a coup at all – it seems that change is finally on the horizon in Zimbabwe, where leader Robert Mugabe has held controversial reign in power for over 37 years ▶. The 93-year-old was the oldest living leader at the time of his resignation, which comes after he made a televised statement saying otherwise. However, as an impeachment was being lined up to potentially remove Mugabe from power for good, the President has reportedly agreed to resign as a result of the country’s army having seized power and taking him under house arrest for a number of days.
Mugabe’s resignation is being viewed in a number of ways – while some may seek the ex-President’s wife, Grace Mugabe, to take power in his stead, formerly sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly set to succeed. On the other side of matters, some state that Phelekezela Mphoko, who supports Ms Mugabe, could be set to step in. Mr Mugabe’s resignation, however, has been met by jubilation in the country and elsewhere in the world – as his rule was littered with controversy, with many referring to his time in power as having been something of a dictatorship due to oppressive actions having been carried out by his own militia.
Watch: Celebration in Zimbabwe as Mugabe resigns ▶
The sacking of Mnangagwa in recent weeks led to action taken by the army to try and remove Mugabe from power, and with this recent news settling in, it seems that their work seems to have been carried out successfully. Mugabe certainly didn’t go without a fight – and while he has stepped down, the role of President may yet be filled by his wife, who was arguably in line for the vice presidency.
World leaders and various posts worldwide have reacted to the news diplomatically, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May leading the way amid her own Brexit-related crises. “(Mugabe’s resignation) provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterized his rule. The Zimbabwean US Embassy took time to celebrate those who “stated peacefully and clearly that the time for change was overdue.”
Celebrations are taking place in the streets across Zimbabwe as change, hopefully, appears to be on the horizon – but will it mean replacing one Mugabe with another? Let’s watch things unfold.