• As ousted leader resigns to escape impeachment
By Ese Awhotu with agency report
Estranged vice president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as acting president today or tomorrow, reports said yesterday.
This follows Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe’s resignation to escape an impending impeachment trial after 37 years in power.
Reuters reports that the speaker of parliament, Jacob Mudenda, announced on Tuesday that Mugabe had resigned in a letter submitted to parliament, sparking wild celebrations among MPs.
His resignation spurred massive jubilation in the streets of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president Wednesday or Thursday, ZANU-PF legal secretary Patrick Chinamasa told Reuters, after the resignation of Robert Mugabe.
Separately, ZANU-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Reuters that Mnangagwa would be sworn in within 48 hours and that he would serve the remainder of Mugabe’s term until the next general elections, which must be held by September 2018.
Mugabe who is currently 93 years old stepped down as president on Tuesday after Zimbabwe’s parliament opened impeachment proceedings against him following a military takeover in the capital Harare last week.
Recall that Mugabe had on November 6 sacked to sack former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move analysts said was targeted at replacing him with his wife, Grace Mugabe.
Mugabe’s plot to succeed himself with his wife did not materialize as the Zimbabwe military seized control of the state broadcaster on Wednesday and placed Mugabe under house arrest.
Negotiations between the ousted Zimbabwe leader and the military as well as elderly statesmen did not materialize either.
Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, had expelled him and sacked him as its leader, and the military had appealed to him to step down.
Until yesterday, Mugabe was still stubborn insisting on leading the party through its congress in December, reports said.
However, speculations are high that the choice of Mnangagwa to replace Mugabe may spark fresh crisis in Zimbabawe where poverty and unemployment are pervasive.