Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
President Mugabe resigned from office following a week of unrelenting calls from the public and his own party Zanu-PF to step down after 37 years at the helm. Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda made the announcement during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate at the Harare International Conference Centre that was debating a motion to impeach the now former President. It was during the debate that Advocate Mudenda received the former President’s correspondence announcing his resignation before he terminated business.
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Reads the resignation letter: “The honourable Jacob Mudenda, notice of resignation as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of the provisions of Section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment Number 20), 2013. Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda at 13:53 hours, 21st November, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, 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.
“My decision to resign is voluntary from my heart and arises for my concern for the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for the smooth, peaceful and non violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability. Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by section 96 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”
Section 96(1) which deals with Resignation of President or Vice President says, “The President may resign his or her office by written notice to the Speaker who must give public notice of the resignation as soon as it is possible to do so and in any event within twenty-four hours.’’ Advocate Mudenda said he would make further pronouncements on the way forward today.
“In terms of the Constitution it beholds the Speaker of the National Assembly to make sure that the proper legal processes are put in place so that the country can proceed forward with a President in place and this would be done by not later than end of day tomorrow (today),” he said.
The announcement was followed by jubilation among legislators and members of the public that had come to witness the impeachment proceedings at the HICC. The joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament had been convened to discuss the President’s impeachment after he had failed to resign on Monday, as directed by Zanu-PF’s Central Committee on Sunday.
The motion was moved by Senator Cde Monica Mutsvangwa (Zanu-PF) and seconded by Mabvuku-Tafara Representative Mr James Maridadi (MDC-T). Cde Mugabe stood accused of serious misconduct inter-alia abrogating his constitutional mandate to his wife who was making utterances on business of Government and accessing classified information without constitutional authority.
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The former President was also accused of causing disaffection among the Zimbabwe Defence Forces by allowing his wife to make false and reckless allegations against them. He also stood accused of ignoring corruption and inability to perform functions of his Office because of alleged physical or mental incapacity.