by Carla Buscema
Robert Mugabe’s resignation last night sparked reactions of exultation in Harare and around the country.
Ian Taylor, a Professor in International Relations and African Political Economy at the University of St Andrews and Chair Professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China commented on the latest events.
“It is important to note that this was not a popular uprising against the regime or a democratic initiative; it is an inter-party dispute that has removed a 93-year old dictator (and his wife) and is replacing him with a 75-year old party veteran who has substantial blood on his hands through the Matabeleland Massacres of the 1980s.
“So, although it is a positive step to get rid of the caricature of an old school corrupt despot, we will have to wait and see if anything substantial changes.”
After the Parliament started the process of impeachment yesterday morning, Robert Mugabe consigned a resignation letter that read: “I Robert Gabriel Mugabe, hereby formally tender my resignation as President of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.”
Mugabe has been in power for the past 37 years and even though there have been some substantial problems under his guidance, his party, the ZANU-PF, always backed him. It was only when Mugabe made the attempt to let his wife take over leadership that his party stopped supporting him.