Tue | Dec 12, 2017

The Latest: Mugabe resigning after nearly 4 decades in power

Published:Sunday | November 19, 2017 | 2:10 PM
A portrait of Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, hangs at the ZANU PF party headquarters in Harare, on Sunday.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is resigning after nearly four decades in power, according to an official close to the talks on his departure.

The news comes hours after the ruling party’s Central Committee fired Mugabe as party leader and said if he didn’t resign as the country’s president by noon Monday it would start impeachment proceedings.

Mugabe will address the nation shortly on state-run television. The official close to the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

It is an extraordinary end to 37 years in power for the world’s oldest head of state, who had vowed to rule until death.

The 93-year-old Mugabe has been under house arrest since the military moved in Tuesday, angered by his firing of his longtime deputy and the positioning of unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe to succeed him.

Mugabe tried to buy time in negotiations with the military on a dignified exit but quickly found himself isolated.

Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of the capital Saturday to demand that Mugabe, one of Africa’s last remaining liberation leaders, step aside after overseeing the once-prosperous country’s economic collapse.

The deputy Mugabe fired, former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is poised to be Zimbabwe’s next leader after the Central Committee made him its nominee to take over when Mugabe goes.