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Church leaders hail Mugabe resignation

Robert Mugabe | Photo: AP

Robert Mugabe announced his resignation as President of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, as parliament began impeachment proceedings to strip him of power and open the way for prosecution.

Eight leaders from different Christian denominations issued a statement in Zimbabwe saying the end of Mugabe’s 37-year-rule could actually be an opportunity for the birth of a new country.

The Church leaders noted that the deteriorating economic situation, social challenges reported were just “symptoms of a deeper disease that has affected the nation for a long time.”

The leaders also said the problem resulted from the fact that “the priorities of the poor have become relegated to charity of those who have access to national resources without proper commitment to addressing the root causes of these problems.”

The clergy included those from the Catholic, Evangelical, Charismatic, and Protestant faith.

They blamed the Church for having lost its “prophetic urge, driven by personality cults and superstitious approaches to socio-economic and political challenges.”

President Robert Mugabe’s resignation letter was read out by Zimbabwe parliamentary Speaker Jacob Mudenda to lawmakers gathered at a conference centre in Harare.

“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect,” the statement read.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability,” it added.

Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been sacked recently by Mr Mugabe – at the instigation, it is alleged, of Grace Mugabe – will be appointed president in the next 48 hours, the ruling party announced.

The Time Line

On 15th November, the country’s military took over power and kept the country’s 93-year-old president under house arrest.

On 18th November, thousands took to the streets to demand the resignation of Mugabe – a demand that could end his 37-year old rule over the southern African country.

On 19th November, the top brass of the ruling ZANU-PF party sacked Mugabe as the party’s leader, and appointed his vice president, Emerson Mnangagwa – the man Mugabe sacked two weeks ago to clear the way for his wife, Grace, to succeed him as president.

According to the Independent – UK, President Mugabe is believed to have secured immunity from prosecution for himself and his family, but officials say they do not know if the offer still stands. On the streets of the capital, ordinary Zimbabweans tell media he[Mugabe] and Grace Mugabe must ‘face the music.’

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