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Robert Mugabe 'Agrees To Stand Down' As President Of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down after 37 years in charge, news agency Reuters has reported.

The ruling ZANU-PF party had given the 93-year-old less than 24 hours to quit as head of state or face impeachment, an attempt to secure a peaceful end to his tenure after a de facto coup.

A source said the Zimbabwe military was working on a resignation statement by Mugabe, without giving details.

Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster ZBC said Mugabe would address the nation shortly.

Earlier on Sunday, the official Herald newspaper showed pictures of him meeting top generals at his State House offices, and a ZBC source said an outside-broadcast truck was being sent in preparation for an announcement.

Mugabe, the only leader the southern African nation has known since independence from Britain in 1980, was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he sacked this month in a move that triggered the mid-week intervention by the army.

In scenes unthinkable just a week ago, the announcement drew cheers from the 200 delegates packed into ZANU-PF’s Harare headquarters to seal the fate of Mugabe, whose support has crumbled in the four days since the army seized power.

Mugabe was given until noon on Monday to resign or face impeachment, an ignominious end to the career of the “Grand Old Man” of African politics who was once feted across the continent as an anti-colonial liberation hero.

Mugabe was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he sacked this month.

Mnangagwa’s dismissal is what prompted the military to move against Mugabe, amid fears he would appoint his wife Grace to succeed him. She was also expelled from the party.

Mnangagwa, a former state security chief known as “The Crocodile,” is now in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Harare, singing, dancing and hugging soldiers in an outpouring of elation at Mugabe’s expected overthrow.

Mugabe’s stunning downfall in just four days is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen, from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila, are facing mounting pressure to quit.

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