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Summary

  1. Embattled President Mugabe resigns
  2. Wild celebrations break out in the capital
  3. Military thanked for helping force Mugabe out
  4. US and UK welcome end of his 37-year rule
  5. Resignation came as parliament began impeachment proceedings
  6. New president expected to take office on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By David Molloy, Emma Owen, Farouk Chothia and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Pausing our live coverage....

We're going to take a break from our live coverage for the evening, as celebrations continue on the streets of Zimbabwe's capital.

Our online news team will continue to update our main story, but the main developments have been:

  • Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has resigned after 37 years in power.
  • He resigned in a letter sent to parliament as it began impeachment proceedings
  • MPs erupted in applause and cheers, and citizens took to the streets in celebration
  • The briefly-exiled former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to be appointed interim president
  • It is not clear how that affects his replacement, current Vice President Mphoko
  • Multiple sources say Mr Mnangagwa will be appointed on Wednesday or Thursday

Want to know more? You can browse through all our articles on the crisis here.

Mnangagwa 'will come back in next 24 hours'

Emmerson Mnangagwa
EPA

Emmerson Mnangagwa - widely expected to be appointed as president in the coming days - will return to the country shortly, officials said.

A spokesman for the ruling Zanu-PF party told AFP: "I believe that the fired vice-president Mnangagwa, who the party central committee endorsed... will come back in the next 24 hours or so and he will be the one who will be sworn in to be president for 90 days."

Earlier, Reuters had quoted another party official as saying that Mr Mnangagwa would serve the remainder of Mr Mugabe's term until elections are held next year.

Pastor activist behind #ThisFlag: 'I can't stop crying'

Zimbabwe's activist pastor Evan Mawarire cannot hide his joy over news that President Robert Mugabe resigned.

Pastor Mawarire is known for leading the #ThisFlag protest movement, and was detained in 2016 for opposing President Mugabe's rule.

He backed a stay-at-home strike in July 2016, which was one of the largest anti-government protests the country had seen in years.

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In photos: Street celebrations abound

Hours after the resignation announcement was read out, celebrations continue...

Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe resigns in Harare, Zimbabwe November 21, 2017.
Reuters
A Zimbabwean soldier sitting in tank gestures as people greet and celebrate after the resignation of President Mugabe, on November 21, 2017.
AFP
A Zimbabwean soldier gesture as people greet and celebrate after the resignation of President Mugabe, on November 21, 2017.
AFP
A man wearing the national flag celebrates in the streets after the resignation of Zimbabwe"s president Robert Mugabe on November 21, 2017 in Harare
AFP
Harare residents celebrate in the streets after the resignation of Zimbabwe"s president Robert Mugabe on November 21, 2017 in Harare.
AFP

Army chief appeals for 'restraint' amid celebrations

General Constatntino Guveya Chiwenga
AFP

Amid lively celebrations in the streets of the capital, the country's top general - who was instrumental in toppling Mr Mugabe - has called for "restraint".

"Against the backdrop of the latest developments in our country, your defence and security services would want to appeal to all Zimbabweans across the political divide to exercise maximum restraint and observe law and order to the fullest," Gen Constantino Chiwenga said in remarks carried by the AFP agency.

Morgan Tsvangirai 'hopeful' for change

BBC Newsnight

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai hopes that Zimbabwe is on a "new trajectory" that will include free and fair elections.

The 'crocodile' who snapped back

Zimbabwean Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (L), arrives for the burial of liberation war hero Don Muvuti at the national heroes acre in Harare, Zimbabwe, 01 November 2017 (reissued 15 November 2017).
EPA

It has been an open secret in Zimbabwe for many years that Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted to succeed Robert Mugabe as president. It seems he is now doing so.

The former vice-president has had a volatile political career - you can read about it here.

Mr Mugabe's resignation announcement

Here's what the parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda read out, prompting celebrations:

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Honourable members. In the powers vested with me as the presiding officer now, I terminate business and I want to notify you of the following.

I have received, in terms of Section 96, Sub-Section 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, a letter from the president... [reading]... notice of resignation...

[Prolonged applause and cheering]

The moment Zimbabwean MPs hear Mugabe has resigned

"...I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in terms of Section 96, Sub-Section 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, hereby formally tender my resignation as the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.

[Applause]

My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arising from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe. And my desire is to ensure a 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, Sub-Section 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Yours faithfully, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

(Shouts of former, former president from the crowd)

Zimbabweans react: 'Is it true, is it true?'

Zimbabweans celebrate the news of President Mugabe's resignation
Residents of Harare have taken to the streets to celebrate the news that President Mugabe is standing down. Karnie Sharp spoke to them just as the news broke:

(Photo: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK)

Can Zimbabwe expect foreign aid in its transition?

For years, Zimbabwe has been mired in the depths of an economic crisis - a challenge which has not disappeared.

Our World Affairs Editor also suggests that certain foreign powers will be keen to restore Zimbabwe - and that may mean a good deal of financial aid.

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Help of some description, it appears, can be expected from Zimbabwe's former colonial power, as the UK's Foreign Secretary tweeted a pledge of support:

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Mugabe won't be remembered for any good he did

BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson writes:

Most people assumed that the only way Robert Mugabe would give up being president was to die in his bed.

He probably thought so too.

In fact the last of the old-style 1970s and 80s liberation leaders most untypically resigned in writing. Perhaps that says something about the way the world has changed in the 21st century.

No storming the presidential palace, no ugly end at the hands of a crowd like Colonel Gaddafi, no execution by firing squad like President Ceausescu of Romania, no hanging like Saddam Hussein.

Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, 1984
AFP

Zimbabwe, in spite of everything Robert Mugabe visited upon it, is essentially a peaceable, gentle country. And despite all the immense crimes for which he was responsible, he is in some ways an intellectual, rather than a brutal thug.

He’ll be remembered for the massacres in Matabeleland in the 1980s, for the farm invasions of the 1990s and later, and for the brutal repression of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change when they seemed on course to win the 2008 presidential election.

The man who seems about to take his place, former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwe, was deeply involved in most of those crimes, yet people in Zimbabwe - like the outside world - will be so relieved to see Mugabe go that they will be tempted to forget all that.

They’ll also forget the few unquestionably good things Robert Mugabe did. Zimbabwe, for instance, has an extraordinarily high literacy rate, because of him.

But that’s certainly not what he’ll be remembered for.

Mugabe's long career in pictures

Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro
AFP

During his first years in office, Mugabe was feted by leaders across the world, including Cuba's Fidel Castro.

See more pictures from his life in office, here.

Mugabe - hero or villain?

From an icon of his nation's liberation to a cartoonish dictator - what was Robert Mugabe's rule like?

For those who haven't followed the former president, the BBC's Joseph Winter has condensed decades of Mugabe's political career:

Even after 37 years in power, Mr Mugabe still maintained the same worldview - the patriotic socialist forces of his Zanu-PF party were still fighting the twin evils of capitalism and colonialism.

Read more: Is Zimbabwe's ex-president a hero or villain?

Next president to serve 'until 2018 elections'

Emmerson Mnangagwa
AFP

Following their report that former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as vice president in the coming days, Reuters now says he will serve until 2018.

The chief whip of ruling party Zanu-PF, Lovemore Matuke, told the news agency that Mr Mnangagwa would serve the remainder of Mugabe's term.

Under the current schedule, the next general elections could be held as late as September 2018.

African Union chief 'delighted' by Mugabe resignation

The Visionguinee news website reports...

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Alpha Conde
EPA

Guinean president and current African Union chief, Alpha Conde, has said he is "truly delighted" that former President Robert Mugabe has agreed to resign.

Mr Conde also described Mugabe as a "great fighter" and an "African hero".

"It is a shame that he is leaving through the back door and that he is forsaken by the parliament," he added.

Mr Conde said that the presidential election should be held in 2018 and that the African Union will offer all its support to Zimbabwe for its organisation.

BreakingMnangagwa 'to be sworn in Wednesday or Thursday'

Reuters news agency reports that Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa - the former and briefly exiled vice-president - will be sworn in as president on either Wednesday or Thursday.

It quoted the ruling Zanu-PF party's legal secretary.

'I've no words... it's an amazing feeling'

Speaking to BBC television earlier, activist and political candidate Vimbaishe Musvaburi cried as she described what Mr Mugabe's departure meant.

Emotional moment for Zimbabwe activist: 'I've no words'

Her appearance struck a chord with many on social media.

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Mugabe's portrait 'deposed'

A Zimbabwean academic has shared a video of a man taking down a portrait of President Robert Mugabe.

She has not said where the video was recorded.

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South Africa's News24 news site also shared this AFP picture of Mr Mugabe's portrait being taken down:

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'Stepping stone to the Zimbabwe we want'

Zimbabwean media mogul Trevor Ncube has described President Robert Mugabe's resignation as a "stepping stone" towards building a successful country.

He has tweeted:

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Sacked vice-president will 'take power'

Zimbabwe's sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will take over as president in the next 48 hours, ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke has told The Associated Press news agency.

Mr Mnangagwa engineered the downfall of Mr Mugabe after he sacked him about two weeks ago.

The veteran leader apparently wanted to anoint his wife, Grace Mugabe, as his political heir, but the move backfired as the army and ruling party rallied behind Mr Mnangagwa.

University of Zimbabwe"s students, holding a portrait of former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, take part in a demonstration on November 20, 2017 in Harare, to demand the withdrawal of Grace Mugabe"s doctorate and refused to sit their exams as pressure builds on Zimbabwe"s President Robert Mugabe to resign.
AFP
The ruling party and army threw their weight behind Emmerson Mnangagwa

Robert Mugabe in one minute

How will Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, be remembered by his countrymen and people across Africa?

Watch this BBC video to find out:

How will he be remembered?

Mugabe in quotes

President Robert Mugabe looks on during a rally marking Zimbabwe"s 32nd independence anniversary celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe April 18, 2012.
Re
Robert Mugabe ruled the ex-British colony since independence in 1980

Until the military takeover of last Wednesday, many people had expected President Robert Mugabe to remain in office until he died.

In 2008, he said:

Only God who appointed me will remove me - not the MDC [opposition], not the British."

And in 2014, he said:

Some are saying 'Mr Mugabe is old, so he should step down'... No! When my time comes, I will tell you."

'One big party'

It's 19:30 local time in Zimbabwe and it looks like the crowds are just starting a long night of celebration.

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'A better Zimbabwe for my daughter'

A journalist has shared a picture of a woman cheering following President Robert Mugabe's resignation.

She expects a brighter future for her daughter:

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A Mugabe movie called Robert

Many Zimbabweans have taken to social media to show how they are celebrating the end of Robert Mugabe's presidency.

They are waving down traffic with their flags and dancing:

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Others have started imagining a Mugabe movie called ROBERT, starring American actor Don Cheadle:

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UK welcomes Mugabe's resignation

UK Prime Minister Theresa May says the resignation of President Robert Mugabe gives Zimbabwe an "an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule".

In a statement, she added:

In recent days we have seen the desire of the Zimbabwean people for free and fair elections and the opportunity to rebuild the country's economy under a legitimate government.

As Zimbabwe's oldest friend we will do all we can to support this, working with our international and regional partners to help the country achieve the brighter future it so deserves."

Robert Mugabe Resigns As President of Zimbabwe British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher shaking hands with Zimbabwe Prime Minister Robert Mugabe outside 10 Downing Street, London, May 9th 1980.
Getty Images
Robert Mugabe took power when Margaret Thatcher was UK prime minister

'Happy, happy, happy'

Ecstatic Zimbabweans are not holding back to express their joy following the news that President Robert Mugabe, 93, has resigned.

One of them has told a journalist covering the event that he is "happy,happy,happy":

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Mugabe escapes impeachment

Zimbabwe's Ptesident Robert Mugabe resigned in disgrace, after his party and the army turned against him.

He sent a letter to parliament, preempting moves to impeach him.

Robert Mugabe
BBC

Children on army tanks join celebrations

A journalist in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, has shared a picture of children on top of an army tank, holding the Zimbabwean flag.

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'Historic moment' - US embassy

The US embassy in Zimbabwe has called President Robert Mugabe's resignation "historic", saying it is an opportunity for the nation to "set itself on a new path" that will lead to free and fair elections.

The US was a fierce critic of Mugabe, accusing him of being repressive and ruining the economy through a controversial land reform programme.

This file photo taken on January 18, 2010 shows Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe giving a speech during the burial of Sunny Ntombiyelanga Takawira, wife of the late vice president of the Zimbabwe African National Union, Leopold Takawira, in Harare at the National Heroes Acre. Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe on November 21, 2017
AFP
Mr Mugabe, 93, was the world's oldest ruler

'Army tanks leaving capital'

Army tanks are moving out of the city centre in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, a website which keeps a close on political developments in the southern African state has tweeted:

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The military took power in Zimbabwe last Wednesday, setting off the extraordinary chain of events which led to President Robert Mugabe's resignation.

Read: Mugabe: Hero or villain?

'A city singing with noise and joy'

A BBC correspondent tweets from Zimbabwe's capital Harare:

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'Tyrant out, tyranny not yet'

Prominent Zimbabwean opposition politician David Coltart is celebrating the end of President Robert Mugabe's rule, but is worried about what comes next:

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'From liberator to dictator'

South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance has welcomed President Robert Mugabe's resignation after 37 years in power, saying a "liberator" had turned into a "dictator.

Its statement read:

This is a victory for the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered greatly under the latter years of Mugabe's reign. The story of Robert Mugabe is not a unique one, and is all too familiar on our continent.

A once liberator of his people, Mugabe brought division, instability, and economic ruin to Zimbabwe as he made the unfortunate transition from liberator to dictator."

1976: Robert Mugabe
Getty Images
Robert Mugabe fought for Zimbabwe's independence from minority rule

BreakingNew president 'by tomorrow'

The speaker of Zimbabwe's parliament says a new leader will be in office by the end of Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports.

Jacob Mudenda said he was dealing with legal issues to ensure that the vacuum left by President Robert Mugabe's resignation was filled, Reuters added.

When the news broke

The BBC's Fergal Keane, who was in the hotel where Zimbabwean lawmakers had gathered to discuss the impeachment of President Robert Mugabe, has tweeted the reaction of one woman after the story of his resignation broke:

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'We only knew Mugabe as president'

Young Zimbabweans grew up knowing only Robert Gabriel Mugabe as their president. Now, they are looking forward to a new leader, following the stunning announcement that the nonagenarian has finally relinquished power:

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Mugabe: From war hero to resignation

Here's a BBC video charting the life of the man who dominated Zimbabwean politics for at least four decades:

Robert Mugabe: From war hero to resignation as president

Song, dance and honks

A journalist has shared a video from downtown Harare, Zimbawe's capital, where the atmosphere is electric.

People are singing and dancing while passing cars are blaring their horns.

A military tank is nearby, and some are thanking the army for the pivotal role it played in forcing their commander-in-chief, President Robert Mugabe, out of office.

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Jubilation among MPs

Here's another video of the extraordinary scenes in Zimbabwe's parliament after the speaker announced that President Robert Mugabe had sent a letter of resignation:

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