The speaker of the Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, read out a letter in Mugabe’s absence in which he stated that he would be stepping down “with immediate effect”.
On Sunday, Mugabe was still clinging to power after a bloodless coup by the army. He had initially refused to step down even after being expelled from ZANU-PF, the political party he had led for four decades.
While Zimbabweans noisily celebrated late into the night, little is expected to change in the country. “Bob” as he is known in South Africa, held onto power for 37 years and once boasted that “only God” could remove him.
Prominent white Zimbabwean opposition politician David Coltart tweeted after Mugabe’s resignation: “We have removed a tyrant but not yet a tyranny.”
The African despot ruled his country by fear and brought a once-promising economy, called the “Breadbasket of Africa” to ruin.
Mugabe leaves behind an economy, once the biggest corn exporter in southern Africa, in tatters. An estimated 95 percent of the workforce is unemployed, public infrastructure is crumbling and widespread shortages of cash and food are regularly reported.
Almost a quarter of Zimbabweans are currently in need of food assistance and 72 percent live in poverty, The Economist reported.
The country’s woes are rooted in Mugabe’s support for the seizure of white-owned farms, which slashed agricultural production, export earnings and tax revenue. But it is a policy that the ANC in South Africa hopes to imitate.
From January 1983, a campaign of terror was waged against the Ndebele ethnic group in Matabeleland, in the west of Zimbabwe. The Gukurahundi genocide saw more than 20 000 civilians being massacred by Robert Mugabe’s feared North Korean trained Fifth Brigade.
Mugabe’s rival Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zapu had enjoyed overwhelming support among the Ndebele and in the words of “Bob”, the people of Matabeleland needed to be “re-educated”.
Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, reportedly said that “not only was Mugabe fully aware of what was going on” but the Fifth Brigade acted “under Mugabe’s explicit orders”.
As with the attacks against white farmers in Zimbabwe, Western governments did nothing once the scale of massacres became known, and Mugabe continued his campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Leftists in the West eagerly repeated Mugabe’s charge of “neo-colonialism” to cover for his misdemeanours in the hope of garnering support from African leaders.
In fact, Mugabe’s sustained and strategic effort to remove all political opposition within five years of independence, earned him a British knighthood bestowed on him by Queen Elizabeth II herself.
To launch his guerilla war “for freedom”, Mugabe’s ZIPRA fighters had gunned down Air Rhodesia Viscount Flight RH827 in 1979 with a Strela 2 surface-to-air infrared homing missile, killing all the white passengers and crew on board. It remains the deadliest aviation incident in Rhodesia to date.
On 25 February 1979, the Rhodesian Air Force, with covert assistance from South Africa, launched a Operation Vanity, a retaliatory bombing raid against a ZIPRA camp in Angola.
The once highly successful British colony, Southern Rhodesia, was sacrificed for political expendiency to become a one-party Marxist dictatorship.
As recently as July this year, Mugabe’s call to “kick out” all remaining white commercial farmers from their properties has triggered a fresh wave of land invasions in the southern African country.
During a rally in Marondera, Mugabe said his party’s young supporters should confiscate the remaining land, News24 reported.
Ndebele workers at the farm accused Mugabe’s henchmen of buying off Rusape police officers to terrorise a white farmer, resulting in the police firing gunshots to disperse angry villagers who had gathered at the property in support of the white commercial farmer, Robert Smart of Lesbury Farm.
“The police forced open a safe that contained Smart’s money and went away with $75 000 meant for the payment of workers’ salaries,” claimed a source at the farm.
Reports revealed that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party heavyweights and the military had “invaded” parts of a farm where one of the leading agricultural training institutes in southern Africa, Blackfordby College of Agriculture, was situated.
The African “war heroes” are more interested in enriching themselves than in uplifting the poverty-stricken millions. The wholesale corruption and greed, nepotism and fraud perpetrated by the Mugabe government, has been mimicked by the ANC in South Africa.
Already in 2008 inflation hit a rate of 231,000,000 percent. The currency had to be denominated in notes as large as the $100trn Zimbabwe-dollar bill. Hyperinflation concluded only when the Zimbabwe dollar was scrapped for the American dollar and South African Rand.
The South African ruling party, a staunch supporter of the Mugabe regime, has not yet released a statement about his resignation.