Mugabe has 'agreed to resign' — source close to presidency

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has agreed to resign, a source close to the presidency told AFP Sunday, as his authoritarian 37-year reign drew to a close days after a military takeover.

"Yes he has agreed to resign," the source said after Mugabe's expected television address to the nation was delayed.

Zimbabweans have been left stunned during a historic week in which the army seized power and put Mugabe, 93, under house arrest in response to his sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

On Saturday, in scenes of public euphoria not seen since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, huge crowds marched and sang their way through Harare and other cities in peaceful celebrations marking the crumbling of his long and often brutal rule.

Analysts say the military acted after Mugabe's wife Grace, 52, secured prime position to succeed him as president following a bitter power struggle with Mnangagwa, who has close ties to the army.

The ruling ZANU-PF party sacked Mugabe as its leader earlier on Sunday and told him to resign as head of state, naming Mnangagwa as the new party chief.

Mugabe was due to make a television address on Sunday evening hours after a second round of talks with army chief Constantino Chiwenga at State House, the president's official residence.

Official photographs of the meeting showed one officer saluting the president, who stood behind his desk, and several senior officers sitting in a formal room with white sofas and a bright red carpet.

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