Robert Mugabe has resigned as president of Zimbabwe with immediate effect after 37 years in power, the speaker of the country’s parliament has said.
The announcement came during a hearing to impeach Mugabe, and launches the nation into a new era as uncertain as it is hopeful.
The move caps an astonishing eight-day crisis that started when the military took over last week in order to block the rise to power of Mugabe’s wife and her faction within the ruling Zanu-PF party, and then developed into a popular revolt against the 93-year-old autocrat.
A letter submitted to parliament by Mugabe said his decision to resign was voluntary.
Wild jubilation broke out among MPs when the speaker, Jacob Mudenda, made the announcement, and cheers and celebrations spread through the streets of Harare.
“We are elated. It’s time for new blood,” said William Makombore, who said he worked in finance. “I’m 36 and I’ve been waiting for this all my life. I’ve only known one leader.”