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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Ousts Leader Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's ruling party fired its leader, Robert Mugabe, 93, and he faces impeachment if he refuses to vacate his post by 10:00 GBT, Monday. The 200 delegates assembled in ZANU-PF’s Harare cheered over the formal announcement to oust the head of state on Sunday.


Thousands of people took to the streets of Harare expressing their jubilation over the central party's decision. War veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa, who initiated an 18-month campaign to overthrow someone he's referred to as a "dictator," was particularly overjoyed with the news. “The President is gone," he said. "Long live the new President.”

However, the celebratory news became muddled when Mugabe gave a televised address in which he made no mention of his resgination. Instead, he said he intended to preside over the next party conference in a few weeks.

Although there were no details given of the discussion between Mugabe with military leaders, the Zimbabwe Herald released photos of an earlier meeting on Sunday.

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After reigning for over four decades in power, Mugabe continued buying time to make a "dignified exit." But Mutsvangwa threatened, “We will bring back the crowds, and they will do their business.”

The ruling party is set to impeach Mugabe if he refuses to step down by Monday. With a higher than the required two-thirds majority in both houses of Zimbabwe parliament to impeach the president, the party could succeed unlike the opposition MDC-T party's failed attempts in the past.

First lady Grace Mugabe and other senior officials were also dismissed from the party as Mugabe secured plans for his wife to succeed him, but the military intervened on Saturday to block him in his attempt. Zanu-PF appointed ex-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was previously expelled by Mugabe this month, to succeed the ruling party leader's position.

According to Reuters, Mugabe was notoriously known as the “Thinking Man’s Guerrilla” in his early years, which is a stark contrast for a man who touted himself presently as someone with a "degree in violence."

The Reuters report also touched on the impact ZANU-PF's latest decision will have on the country:

His stunning downfall is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen, from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila, are facing mounting pressure to step down.

Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, disclosed they would be “ready to die for what is correct,” rather than being forced to step down quietly.

Former education minister David Coltart is worried that the military-backed change in leadership is intrinsically just a swapping of autocratic rulers as opposed to Zimbabwean-appointed leadership.

The real danger of the current situation is that having got their new preferred candidate into State House, the military will want to keep him or her there, no matter what the electorate wills.

One senior official remains hopeful. He told BBC's Andrew Harding: "It's the dawn of a new era. Mugabe can go farming."

Could it have a rippling global effect?

Either Mugabe won't be going anywhere soon, or he just had selective hearing about being fired.

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H/T - huffingtonpost, reuters, bbc, twitter, twitter2