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Published On: Wed, Nov 22nd, 2017

Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old Mugabe steps down, people celebrate

nsnbc : Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe stepped down after attempts to cling on to power for one week following a military takeover and expulsion from the ZANU-PF party. Zimbabweans have taken to the streets to celebrate.

Grace Mugabe promoted as possible successor of what would become an allegedly socialist Zanu-PF "family dynasty".

Grace Mugabe promoted as possible successor of what would become an allegedly socialist Zanu-PF “family dynasty”.

Robert Mugabe, praised by many for his anti colonialist and anti-imperialist stance, criticized by others as Zimbabwe’s de-facto dictator, had over stayed his welcome so much that most of even the most anti-colonialist anti-colonialists and the most anti-imperialist of anti-imperialists found it increasingly incredible an unpalatable to lend their support for Zimbabwe’s “anti-imperialist dictator”.

In the end it was his own party, ZANU-PF, which told him to relinquish power – in an apparent hope that the party would suffer no further harm from Mugabe’s not so graceful exit. Many, even traditional Mugabe supporters have stressed that Mugabe could and should have relinquished power, gracefully, respected and respectfully, a decade ago or two.

Instead, Mugabe clung on to power and had in the end to watch while wild celebrations broke out at the joint sitting of parliament when Speaker Jacob Mudenda announced Mugabe’s resignation and suspended the impeachment procedure. However, Mugabe’s exit isn’t founded in a sudden, newfound Zimbabwean development of a democratic culture. Instead his downfall lies in rivalry between members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite over who will succeed him‚ rather than popular protests against his rule.

The army seized power after Mugabe sacked his deputy and ZANU-PF’s favorite to succeed him‚ Emmerson Mnangagwa‚ to smooth a path to the presidency for his wife Grace‚ 52‚ known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping. Mnangagwa‚ a former security chief known as The Crocodile‚ is expected to take over as president. The announcement saw jubilation in the streets of Harare‚ with many Zimbabweans dancing in the streets.

Earlier on Tuesday Mnangagwa had implored the statesman to step down. “The people of Zimbabwe have clearly spoken on this matter. To me the voice of the people is the voice of God and their lack of trust and confidence in the leadership of President Mugabe has been expressed.” Mnangagwa said if Mugabe resigned the “country can move forward and preserve his legacy”. A similar call was made by Botswana President Ian Khama who called on Mugabe in an open letter to do the “honorable thing” and resign.

Before Mugabe’s resignation‚ President Jacob Zuma had planned to travel to Zimbabwe on Wednesday. Presidential spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Zuma would travel to Zimbabwe in his capacity as Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Zuma would be joined by Angolan President and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics‚ Defence and Security João Lourenço. This follows a summit of the SADC Organ Troika plus Chairperson that was held in Luanda‚ Angola‚ on Tuesday. It is unclear whether the group will continue with the planned trip.

F/AK – nsnbc 22.11.2017

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