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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Mugabe to step down as President of Zimbabwe

The 93-year-old has been sacked as his party's leader and former vice-president Mnangagwa has been appointed in his place

Robert Mugabe has been sacked as party leader. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Robert Mugabe has been sacked as party leader. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Robert Mugabe has agreed to step down as President of Zimbabwe and will be making a resignation speech shortly.

In a series of fast paced events, the ruler of the African country was sacked from his position as party's leader earlier today.

The former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe had fired, has been appointed as the new party leader.

The 93-year-old had been told by the ruling Zanu-PF party that he must resign as president of Zimbabwe by tomorrow morning or face impeachment. Hours after this deadline was set, Mugabe agreed to step down.

Mugabe's decision to fire Emmerson Mnangagwa from the position of vice president prompted the military to intervene and place him under house arrest. There have been concerns that Mugabe intended to install his wife Grace as his successor.

The first lady has been expelled from the party today.

The decision made by the ruling party Zanu-PF to remove Mugabe was made behind closed doors, but journalists report that cheers could be heard from inside the hall. Shortly after, when reporters were allowed back in, a video emerged on social media of party members singing and dancing in celebration.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans demonstrated in street protests on Saturday to rally against the Mugabes remaining in power. Since the announcement of Mugabe's sacking, people have again taken to the streets but this time in celebration.

Mr Mugabe has been president of Zimbabwe for 37 years.

A motorcade was been seen leaving Mugabe's private residence earlier today and the former party leader has since met with military leaders.

Photos of the meeting were released by local press shows a smartly dressed Mugabe shaking hands with military officials while standing behind a desk covered in documents. Another image shows relaxed looking military members sitting on sofas while having what appears to be informal discussions.

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