The African Union (AU) on Wednesday welcomed the resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Moussa Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission in a statement said Tuesday’s decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster Mugabe’s political legacy.
Mugabe resigned on Tuesday after pressure from the military and Zimbabweans, ending his 37-year grip on power.
His resignation was greeted with wild scenes of celebration by Zimbabweans who now look forward to a new political dispensation in the country.
President Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation, AU’s statement said.
Mahamat noted that AU recognises that the Zimbabwean people have expressed their will that there should be a peaceful transfer of power in a manner that secures the democratic future of their country.
He said he is confident that the people, together with all their leaders, will remain steadfast in their commitment to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.
He added that the AU looks forward to Zimbabwe continuing to play a leading role in the affairs of the African continent, as a democratic and prosperous state meeting the aspirations of its people.
He said the Southern African country has AU’s full support in the period ahead.
NAN reports that UN called for calm and restraint in Zimbabwe following the resignation of Mugabe.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak called for calm and restraint in the southern African country after a week of political tumult.
Zimbabwe’s Parliament Speaker Jacob Mudenda on Tuesday announced the resignation of Mugabe, one day after the 93-year-old ignored a deadline set by his own party to step down.
“The (UN) secretary-general encourages all Zimbabweans to maintain calm and restraint,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.
Mugabe was taken into custody by the military on Nov. 15 after he fired Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
His own political party restored Mnangagwa and demanded Mugabe’s resignation.
As Mugabe initially remained defiant, his party threatened to impeach him.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday, state broadcaster ZBC reported on Wednesday.
Mnangagwa, who fled for his safety after Mugabe sacked him two weeks ago, will land back in Zimbabwe at 6pm (1600 GMT) at Manyame Airbase in Harare, ZBC said.
Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, was expected to land in Zimbabwe at 1130 GMT, Larry Mavhima, an ally of the former vice president, told Reuters.
South African President Jacob Zuma will no longer travel to Zimbabwe on a mediation mission as previously planned, the Presidency announced on Wednesday.
Zuma had planned to visit Zimbabwe to mediate a peaceful solution to the Zimbabwean political crisis on Wednesday.
He cancelled the plan following the resignation on Tuesday of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe’s resignation was announced by Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda during a joint sitting of Senate and National Assembly that was debating his impeachment motion.
Under a decision made on Tuesday by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika Plus SADC Chairperson Summit in Angola, Zuma, in his capacity as the SADC Chairperson, and Angolan President Joao Lourenco, also Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, should travel to Zimbabwe to assess the situation on behalf of SADC on Wednesday.
In light with the latest development in Zimbabwe, the visit has now been postponed until further notice, presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said in a statement.