As widely expected in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has now been given an ultimatum to step down by his own political party and by the military coup d'etat that took power last week.
President Robert Mugabe’s own party voted to oust him as its leader on Sunday, a day after thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets to celebrate his stunning fall from power after a military takeover.
The governing ZANU-PF party, which held emergency talks at its headquarters in the capital, Harare, to consider the fate of the president who had ruled for 37 years, appointed the previously fired vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as Mr. Mugabe’s successor.
Under the Constitution, Mr. Mugabe remains president, even if in name only. But if he does not resign by noon Monday, the committee members decided, he would face impeachment by Parliament.
Cheers and dancing broke out in the building after the vote, according to video shared on social media.
Before the committee’s decision, Chris Mutsvangwa, a war veteran who has led the campaign to oust Mr. Mugabe, said as he went into the meeting, “We are going all the way,” according to Reuters.
He said that Mr. Mugabe should just resign and leave the country: “He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit but he should just smell the coffee.”
The central committee also expelled the president’s wife, Grace Mugabe, as head of the ZANU-PF Women’s League. Mrs. Mugabe, widely viewed as his likely successor, has not been seen in public since Wednesday.
On Sunday, she was barred from the party for life, along with several other government officials — including Jonathan Moyo, the minister of higher and tertiary education.
It's all over but the shouting at this point, Mugabe is done. Mnangagwa is now the de facto leader of the country. Whether much will change remains to be seen, but however the country does move forward, it will be without Mugabe or his wife.