HARARE, ZIMBABWE (CNN) — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has resigned, the speaker of the country’s Parliament said, bringing an end to his 37 years of rule.
The announcement came as Parliament began proceedings to impeach him, six days after the military seized control in the capital, Harare, and placed the 93-year-old leader under house arrest.
Crowds in the streets of Harare broke out in rapturous celebrations, raising their fists and waving Zimbabweans flags to mark the historic moment.
As Mugabe’s letter was read out in Parliament, lawmakers broke out in thunderous applause and cheers.
Mugabe’s resignation marks an end of an era in Zimbabwe.
He ruled the country with an iron fist for almost four decades and is the only leader the nation has known since it achieved independence from Britain in 1980.
The leader had clung to power for the past week, despite repeated calls for him to step down.
Mugabe’s political demise is the consequence of a struggle over who would succeed him in the ZANU-PF, a party split between those loyal to the former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and supporters of Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe.
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