Robert Mugabe has resigned as president of Zimbabwe, according to the country’s parliamentary speaker, bringing an end to the 37-year reign of one of Africa’s longest-serving and most controversial leaders.
After decades of wielding almost unchallenged power in the Southern African nation, Mugabe was forced to resign as his former allies in Zanu-PF began impeachment proceedings against him following a military takeover on Wednesday.
The final abandonment of the military and political elites who for decades sustained and benefited from Mugabe’s charismatic rule began soon after the president sacked powerful vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa in a bid to smooth the succession for his wife, the divisive Grace Mugabe.
That uncharacteristically decisive move proved a fatal mistake for a veteran operator famous for his political cunning and imperviousness to change. Once an icon of the liberation struggle against white minority rule, Mugabe became known as the archetype of an African post-liberation era strongman.
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