Mugabe has resigned

What we know:

Mugabe is out: After 37 years in power Robert Mugabe has resigned. Read our full report.

Zimbabwe celebrates: People are out on the streets of Harare waving flags, holding signs, dancing, singing and celebrating the end of an era.

How it happened: The announcement came as Parliament began proceedings to impeach Mugabe, six days after the military seized control in the capital city. The Speaker of the house read a resignation letter from Mugabe prompting applause and cheers from lawmakers.

What we don’t know: The whereabouts of Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace are unclear.

 

Mugabe may now be impeached

Robert Mugabe has refused to step down as president of Zimbabwe, so an attempt at impeachment is under way.

CNN: Zimbabwe’s ruling party plots Robert Mugabe’s impeachment

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has set in motion a plan to impeach President Robert Mugabe, who has refused to answer repeated calls to step down even after effectively being stripped of his powers.

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, which he co-founded and led for nearly four decades, ousted the 93-year-old as party leader on Sunday and gave him an ultimatum — relinquish the presidency by midday on Monday or face an impeachment vote in Parliament. The party has said it will introduce the plan to Parliament on Tuesday.

A source told CNN that Mugabe had agreed to terms for his resignation in talks with military leaders who have seized control in the country, and that a letter had been drafted. But the midday deadline to resign passed Monday with no word from the defiant leader.

Latest developments:

Mugabe loses allies: The embattled President has lost his most powerful associates, his party and control of the military, and tens of thousands of people have protested to call for his ouster.

Mugabe’s odd speech: The nation was stunned Sunday when instead of hearing Mugabe deliver his resignation speech, gave a rambling televised address that raised more questions than answers.

Deal or no deal?: A source told CNN earlier Monday that the military had given into demands from the President for full immunity for himself and his wife, but there is still no confirmation that Mugabe has accepted a deal.

Very messed in a severely messed up country.

Mugabe sacked as party leader

The ousting of long time leader Robert Mugabe progressed in the weekend with Zimbabwe’s governing party voting to expel him and his wife. His resignation as President has also been demanded, or he will be impeached.

Mugabe is scheduled to address the country shortly and is expected to resign.

Guardian: Zimbabwe’s ruling party fires Robert Mugabe as leader

Zanu PF has sacked the president and replaced him with Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he dismissed two weeks ago

The ruling party in Zimbabwe has given Robert Mugabe until noon on Monday to resign as president or face impeachment by parliament.

In an extraordinary meeting in Harare, the capital, on Sunday morning more than 200 Zanu-PF leaders voted to sack Mugabe as the party’s leader and demanded that the 93 year old “resign forthwith from his position as head of state”.

The move by his own party significantly weakens the position of Mugabe, who has refused to step down following a military takeover last week, despite huge demonstrations in cities across the country on Saturday demanding that he leaves power.

Mugabe has argued that the military takeover is an illegal coup and appears to be hoping that this will trigger regional intervention, sources familiar with his negotiations with the military said.

Zimbabwe’s parliament will reconvene on Tuesday after a week-long suspension and will launch impeachment proceedings immediately if the president has not resigned, MPs said.

The procedure is unprecedented, and it is unclear how long it might take.

Zanu-PF also expelled Grace Mugabe, the divisive first lady, and twenty of her closest associates.

When the motion was passed, removing Mugabe from the head of the party and appointing Emmerson Mnangagwa to replace him, the hall of Zanu-PF delegates broke into cheers, song and dance.

The 200 or so members of the central committee leapt to their feet, many singing Mnangagwa’s name.

“This is the day that is defining the new birth and development of our country,” said Mike Madiro, chairman of one of the provincial party branches that had formally set Mugabe’s dethroning in motion.

This may be the end of the Mugabe era – he has served as president since 1987 – but this is not necessarily the end of dire political and economic situations in Zimbabe – This is redistribution for Zimbabwe’s elite, not revolution in a ruined nation:

In the capital, the roads are potholed, outside they are cracked and crumbling. Banks are so short of cash that people wait hours to withdraw even tiny sums. The only jobs are in government service, yet salaries are rarely paid. The best and the brightest have long fled abroad. Warehouses are empty, fields lie fallow. The busiest store in rural villages is the “bottle shop”, selling dirt-cheap spirits.

Zimbabwe has famously abundant natural resources but resuscitating the economy after 20 years of disastrous mismanagement and wholesale looting by corrupt officials is a major undertaking. The banking system needs to be rebooted, faith restored in the national currency and government finances somehow replenished. The vast debts incurred by Mugabe’s regime need to be rescheduled or waived and new funding arranged to rebuild the country’s shattered infrastructure.

The ruling Zanu-PF party and allies in the military launched their takeover to purge an ambitious faction that threatened their position, not because they wanted to see structural reform that would shut down their own lucrative rackets and rent-seeking.

The people of Zimbabwe have high hopes of a new democratic era. But the ousting of Mugabe was a redistribution of power within the ruling elite of Zimbabwe, not a people’s revolution.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ousted vice-president, who is most likely to succeed Mugabe when he finally leaves power, is no committed democrat. He was Mugabe’s chief enforcer, with a long history of human rights abuse. Mnangagwa, 75, will need to make some concessions to public opinion within Zimbabwe and the hopes of the international community, not least to get the donor and diaspora money the country so desperately needs. However, he will seek to do this while reinforcing, not weakening, the grip of the party.

So Zimbabwe’s problems will just have a different figurehead.

 

‘Not a coup’ in Zimbabwe

There is confusion over whether there is a military coup taking place in Zimbabwe, but it seems likely that Robert Mugabe is being replaced as president.

Time: Zimbabwe’s Military Has Taken Control of the Capital

After a night of confusion in which tanks rolled onto the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, the country’s military said early Wednesday that it had taken President Robert Mugabe into custody. While the armed forces appear now to be effectively in control of the city, a military spokesperson took to the airwaves to insist that what just happened was not a coup d’etat.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover,” the spokesperson said on a nationwide broadcast after soldiers took over a state-run television channel. “We are only targeting criminals around [Mugabe] who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.”

The spokesperson also said the military guaranteed the security of Mugabe and his wife, and sought to reassure the public the situation would soon “return to normalcy.”

The crisis was caused by a power struggle over who would succeed the 93-year-old dictator. It also marks the end of the political aspirations of Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife, Grace Mugabe, who is reportedly in custody with him.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that armed soldiers in armored vehicles had been stationed throughout the capital, and that at least three explosions were heard. Soldiers then took over the headquarters of the state broadcaster and announced that they were now in charge as the president and his wife were detained.

The military’s intervention comes less than 48-hours after the army commander warned that he would “step in” to calm political tension should a recent purge of government officials continue, and about one week after Mugabe sacked his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Is it a coup?

That depends on who you ask. It has all the hallmarks of one, including foreign embassies issuing warnings to its nationals and the takeover of a national broadcaster, but the military insists that it is not a takeover.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, which is funded by the government, praised the military’s action as “a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power,” according to the Associated Press.

What now?

Experts speculate that Mugabe will be held as a figurehead until a new ZANU-PF leader is anointed. “The military, using the leverage gained from the insurrection, is likely to broker a power sharing deal and transitional agreement between President Mugabe and former VP Mnangagwa” IHS Markit Analyst Theophilus Acheampong says in an email. “Mnangagwa is likely to lead a transitional government, which will likely be composed of his allies including former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.”

It may take some time to see what the end result is, but it will be a big change if the rule of Mugabe has ended.