Zimbabwe’s former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose dismissal led to the shock resignation of long-time President Robert Mugabe, will be sworn in as the new president on November 24, the state broadcaster announces.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, would fly home on November 22, it added.
The news of Robert Mugabe’s resignation sparked wild celebrations across the country late into the night.
The announcement that Robert Mugabe was stepping down came in the form of a letter read out in parliament on November 21, abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him.
In that letter, the 93-year-old said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary.
A spokesman for the ruling Zanu-PF party said Emmerson Mnangagwa, 71, would serve the remainder of Robert Mugabe’s term until elections which are due to take place by September 2018.
The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) confirmed that Emmerson Mnangagwa’s swearing-in ceremony had been scheduled for November 24.
Nicknamed the “crocodile” due to his political cunning, Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a statement from exile calling on Zimbabweans to unite to rebuild the country.
He told Zimbabwe’s NewsDay on November 21: “Together, we will ensure a peaceful transition to the consolidation of our democracy, and bring in a fresh start for all Zimbabweans and foster peace and unity.”
His dismissal by Robert Mugabe two weeks ago triggered an unprecedented political crisis in Zimbabwe.
The move had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, which stepped in and put the president under house arrest.
Under Zimbawe’s constitution, the role of successor would normally go to a serving vice-president, and one still remains in post – Phelekezela Mphoko.
However, Phelekezela Mphoko – a key ally of Grace Mugabe – has just been fired by Zanu-PF and is not believed to be in the country. In his absence, the Zanu-PF has nominated Emmerson Mnangagwa, the speaker of parliament confirmed.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has announced his resignation ending his 37 years of rule.
The announcement sparked jubilant celebrations in the nation’s streets.
A letter from Robert Mugabe, 93, read out by the speaker of parliament said the decision was voluntary and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.
The news abruptly halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him.
The ruling Zanu-PF party says former VP Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980.
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s dismissal earlier this month triggered a political crisis.
The move had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Robert Mugabe under house arrest.
Top leaders of Zimbabwe’s ruling party Zanu-PF are calling on President Robert Mugabe to step down, as pressure on him intensifies following a military intervention and protests.
Senior party officials have started arriving for a meeting of Zanu-PF in which they will discuss whether to dismiss Robert Mugabe.
The party’s Youth League, previously loyal to the long-term president, has turned against him.
Military leaders are also set to meet President Mugabe.
According state TV, mediation will be led by a Catholic priest.
In a statement, the Zanu-PF Youth League condemned Robert Mugabe’s allies for “looting and plundering” and his wife Grace for “vulgar, cunning and unruly behavior”, and called on him to stand down and to “rest as an elder statesman”.
Nine of ten Zanu-PF party chapters say Robert Mugabe should step down and their decision is likely to be endorsed at November 19 meeting of the party’s top body, the central committee.
The head of the influential War Veterans Association, Chris Mutsvangwa, predicted to Reuters before the meeting that President Mugabe would be removed from the party leadership, and his wife would lose her position as head of its women’s league.
He then threatened to “bring back the crowds and they will do their business” if Robert Mugabe did not step down.
The 93-year-old president has largely been confined to his house since the army took over on November 15.
The army took control of the country after President Mugabe fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s dismissal made Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace front runner to become next president. He is likely to be reinstated as vice-president when Zanu-PF convene.
Robert Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.
Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans, including people from the ruling party and the opposition, took to the streets on November 18 to celebrate the army’s takeover and to urge Robert Mugabe to quit.
They tore up pictures of the president and marched to his office and residence.
President Robert Mugabe may face impeachment in parliament next week if he refuses to step down.
Pictures published by Zimbabwe Herald on November 16 showed President Mugabe meeting army chief Gen. Constantino Chiwenga and the two envoys from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) at State House in Harare.
Alongside them was Father Fidelis Mukonori, a Roman Catholic priest known to Robert Mugabe for years, who has been brought in to mediate.
Sources close to the talks say Robert Mugabe – who has been in control of Zimbabwe since it threw off white minority rule in 1980 – is refusing to stand down voluntarily before next year’s planned elections.
Some observers suggest that Robert Mugabe may be trying to seek guarantees of safety for himself and his family before stepping aside.
Zanu-PF officials had earlier suggested Robert Mugabe could remain nominally in power until the party congress in December, when Emmerson Mnangagwa would be formally installed as party and national leader.
The African Union said it would not accept a military seizure of power and demanded a return to constitutional order.
South Africa’s defense minister and security minister are meeting Robert Mugabe on behalf of Sadc, which South Africa currently leads. They urged Zimbabwe to “settle the political challenges through peaceful means,” the AFP reported.
South Africa is hosting millions of Zimbabweans who fled after the country’s economy crashed in 2008. It has a special interest in seeing stability restored.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said it was “in the interests of the people” that Robert Mugabe “resign… immediately” as part of a negotiated “all-inclusive transitional mechanism”.
Another opposition leader, Tendai Biti, called for elections to be held.
Early reports suggested Grace Mugabe had fled to Namibia, but sources now say she is in the family compound in Harare, along with some of the youth wing of Zanu-PF who had backed her.