The president of Zimbabwe, 93, stepped down on Tuesday, after 37 years in power and suspending impeachment proceedings with a motion of censure in parliament, local media reported. News was received with cheers in the streets and with cheers and cars honked their horns.
Robert Mugabe reportedly insisted that he resigned of his own free will, a week after a military takeover which was compounded by the ruling party’s decision to withdraw its support for the long-serving leader over a power dispute.
The trigger for the military uprising was the dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, forced by a part of the ruling party to the ambitions of the first lady, Grace Mugabe, to become the successor of her husband in power.
The African National Union of Zimbabwe-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), co-founded by Mugabe himself, majority in parliament, fulfilled his threats and announced the start of the process to submit the 93-year-old president to a motion of censure
At 93 years old, Robert Mugabe had the plan to stand for next year’s elections to fulfill his eighth presidential term.
Mugabe’s reputation changes over time and as a hero of independence he was accused of resorting to electoral fraud and the repression of opponents to stay in power.
In the 2008 electoral process, at least 200 supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were killed and thousands of people tortured in a wave of violence that plunged the country into a deep crisis.
In that time, Mugabe said that “only God” could remove him from power.
Born on February 21, 1924 near Harare, Mugabe, son of a carpenter and a teacher, he trained in Marist schools and Jesuits to become a teacher and he studied several careers by correspondence, Law among them.
The statesman began his political struggle at the age of 36 and was active in various groups in the incipient Zimbabwean independence struggle, and was imprisoned in 1964 and Mugabe spent a decade in prison, was forced to live in exile.
Man of harsh rhetoric, Mugabe was one of the signatories of the “Lancaster House agreements”, which buried the old Rhodesia and gave rise to the new Republic of Zimbabwe, which saw the light of day in 1980.