Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is resigning after nearly four decades in power, according to an official close to the talks on his departure.
It is an extraordinary end to 37 years in power for the world’s oldest head of state, who had vowed to rule until death.
The 93-year-old Mugabe has been under house arrest since the military moved in Tuesday, angered by his firing of his longtime deputy and the positioning of unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe to succeed him.
The ruling party’s Central Committee fired Mugabe as party leader and said if he didn’t resign as the country’s president by noon Monday it would start impeachment proceedings.
Mugabe will address the nation shortly on state-run television. The official close to the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of the capital Saturday to demand that Mugabe, one of Africa’s last remaining liberation leaders, step aside after overseeing the once-prosperous country’s economic collapse.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is poised to be Zimbabwe’s next leader after the Central Committee made him its nominee to take over when Mugabe goes.
Grace Mugabe, 52, Mugabe’s wife was reported to have been placed under house arrest in the capital, Harare, last Wednesday, along with her husband..
Without the military’s intervention last week, many observers say she likely would have replaced Mnangagwa as vice president and been in a position to succeed her husband.