JOHANNESBURG – Mugabe’s resignation on Tuesday was met with jubilation by Zimbabweans across the diaspora, with celebrations spilling out onto the streets of Harare.
Just days after the former Zimbabwean president conceded to pressure from within his own party, his former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa took over as interim Zanu-PF leader. Mnangagwa is due to be sworn in as Zimbabwean president on Friday will also be the party’s presidential candidate in elections set to be held next year.
The 93-year-old Mugabe was the world’s oldest-serving leader. His resignation was read out during a joint sitting of lawmakers, just before a vote to pass a motion of impeachment took place.
Had the impeachment process taken place Mugabe have been fired with no retirement benefits at all. According to Zimbabwean law Mugabe could only have his retirement package denied on grounds of violation of the Constitution. The Presidential Pension and Retirement Act’s Section 6 stipulates that a former president can be denied pension if he or she leaves office having “acted in willful violation of the Constitution; or of gross misconduct.”
According to reports, the former Zimbabwean president will indeed be paid out. During an interview in 2015, Mugabe claimed to earn $12 000 (R166 000) per month. Recent reports suggest that the most recent figure is closer to $18 666 (R258 000) per month. Mugabe will continue to earn the amount he earned as sitting president.
The former president’s current whereabouts are unknown but reports suggest that he has left Zimbabwe with former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda who was visiting him prior to his resignation.