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Mugabe Resigns: An Era in Zimbabwe Ends

Written by Subject: Africa: On the Map

Mugabe Resigns: An Era in Zimbabwe Ends

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Rather than face removal from office by impeachment, Mugabe resigned after leading Zimbabwe since 1980 - first as prime minister, mostly as president.

After saying he'd preside over the ruling ZANU-PF's congress in December on Sunday, he tendered his resignation as president by letter on Monday. Here's the text in full:

"State House

Harare

Zimbabwe

21 November 2017

The Honourable Jacob Mudenda

Notice of resignation as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

In terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe, amendment number 20, 2013.

Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda at 13:53 hours, 21st November, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.

My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire 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 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Gabriel Mugabe President of the Republic of Zimbabwe."

He led the fight for his country's independence from British colonial rule in the 1970s. The so-called Lancaster House Agreement ended white minority rule. Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe after Mugabe won the 1980 general election.

As its leader for 37 years, he's been divisive and controversial, praised as a revolutionary hero, criticized for autocratic rule, economic mismanagement, widespread corruption, racial discrimination against whites, human rights abuses, and suppression of political critics, among other accusations.

University of South Africa Professor Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni characterized his rule as "Mugabeism," an anti-imperial, anti-colonial "left-nationalis(t)" movement "marked by ideological simplicity, emptiness, vagueness, imprecision, and multi-class character" - portraying Black Africans as victims, the West as their "tormentor."

Mugabe preached socialism, governed as a capitalist, in 1984 saying a "one-party state is more in keeping with African tradition. It makes for greater unity for the people. It puts all opinions under one umbrella, whether these opinions are radical or reactionary."

Ndlovu-Gatsheni said he was influenced by Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist and Maoist ideologies, along with African nationalism.

He challenged white settler racism by removing what he called "amabhunu/Boers" from the land.

Mugabeism perhaps best describes the former guerrilla fighter turned politician and Zimbabwean leader for nearly four decades.

A Final Comment

According to the Zimbabwe Independent last May, citing an unnamed senior government official, his "worsening ill-health (left him) hardly able to function properly, given the strenuous demands of his position."

"Because of old age and associated complications, there has been a noticeable decline in his cognitive abilities, including thinking, memory and speech skills."

"(H)e is barely able to walk and needs support most of the time. This has led to his family and close security aides beefing up support around him."

Aged-93, again a private citizen after resigning as president, his end time may be near, a sad time in the lives of everyone eventually.

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