By Zimbabwe Digital News and BBC
1: World reacts to “end of an era”, “historic moment”.
2: Wild celebrations
3: Hope and uncertainty in Zimbabwe
4: What happens next?
5: The 10 best celebration pictures
Zimbabwe’s (former) President Robert Mugabe has resigned in ignonimy, Zimbabwe parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda announced. A letter from President Mugabe said the decision was voluntary, and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.
The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against Mugabe and sparked wild celebrations on the nation’s streets.
The ruling Zanu-PF party says former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980.
Mnangagwa’s sacking earlier this month triggered the political crisis.
It had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader, and riled the Zimbabwe military leadership, who stepped in and put President Mugabe under house arrest.
After the resignation announcement, lawmakers roared in jubilation.
Mr Mugabe, 93, was until his resignation the world’s oldest leader. He had previously refused to quit despite last week’s military takeover and days of protests.
According to the constitution his successor should be the current vice-president, Phelekezela Mphoko, a supporter of Grace Mugabe. Mphoko’s whereabouts are not known.
But Zanu-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told reporters that Mnangagwa would be in office “within 48 hours”.
Speaking from an undisclosed location earlier on Tuesday, Mr Mnangagwa said he had fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him.
‘Let Mugabe rest in his last days’
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Mugabe’s resignation “provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule”.
She said that former colonial power Britain, “as Zimbabwe’s oldest friend”, will do all it can to support free and fair elections and the rebuilding of the Zimbabwean economy.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told reporters that he hoped that Zimbabwe was on a “new trajectory” that would include free and fair elections. He said Mr Mugabe should be allowed to “go and rest for his last days”.
In other reaction:
The US Embassy in Harare said it was a “historic moment” and congratulated Zimbabweans who “raised their voices and stated peacefully and clearly that the time for change was overdue”
South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance welcomed the move, saying Mr Mugabe had turned from “liberator to dictator”
Prominent Zimbabwean opposition politician David Coltart tweeted: “We have removed a tyrant but not yet a tyranny”.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he hoped Robert Mugabe’s resignation would be a turning point for Zimbabwe, calling it a moment of hope for people who have been “languishing under a despot.”
In a televised statement, Johnson said, “What we need to see now is free, fair democratic elections, and above all not a transition from one despotic rule to another.”
Robert Mugabe won elections during his 37 years in power, but over the past 15 years these were marred by violence against political opponents.
He presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, where people are on average 15% poorer now than they were in 1980.
Here are the ten best pictures from the wild scenes of jubilation in Harare
Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe resigned in Harare.
Outside Zimbabwe Parliament Buildings.
Mugabe, go home and rest poster.
Soldiers of peace.
Soldiers, baby and whatsapp.
Flag of honour
In the mood
Dancing on the car.
United in celebration.
United in celebration
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