Robert Mugabe is out. Most Zimbabweans are out on the streets in ecstatic celebrations. Another era has begun in Zimbabwe.
For the Zimbabwean church and Christians, the peaceful exit of Mugabe and his signing a resignation letter, after a defiant speech, Sunday night, 19th November, is answered prayers.
Christians of different denominations, met for prayers, organised by the United Citizens Alliance in Zimbabwe, at Africa Unity Square opposite the Parliament, to pray at lunch time for an hour in Harare on Monday 20th, for the peaceful removal of President Robert Mugabe from office.
The Christians prayed for a bloodless, peaceful resolution to the crisis and prayed God to cause Mugabe to resign or for a quick impeachment process in parliament. They prayed for a non-partisan approach to issues and solving problems which provide for all citizens equally.
The prayer was to continue everyday this week until Mugabe steps down. The prayers have been amsrwered.
Robert Mugabe tendered his resignation as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday 21st November, after the military intervened to end the 37 years reign of the 93-year-old and ailing president.
The jubilation across the country, at least in the major cities like Harare were loud and joyuous starting in the parliament when the Speaker Jacob Mudenda read the resination letter and the shouts of jubilation echoed into the streets and continued through out the night Tuesday.
“I am very happy with what has happened,” said Maria Sabawu, a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), outside the hotel where the impeachment process was happening. “I have suffered a lot at the hands of Mugabe’s government,” she said, showing her hand with a missing finger that she said she lost in violence during a presidential run-off election between Mr Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008.
“We were reduced to worthless people under Mugabe,” Yeukai Magwari, 33, a vendor dancing with a group of uniformed domestic maids in the Avondale neighbourhood of the capital.
“From now on we don’t want to see our elderly men and women sleeping in queues outside banks, and people reduced to being destitute after going to college.”
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice-president fired by Mugabe 13 days ago, is expected to take over as the president. He was appointed interim leader of Zanu-PF at a meeting on Sunday after Mugabe was removed as the party leader.
Elections are due by August next year but it is unclear whether they will be held.
‘Gucci’ Grace Mugabe, 52-year-old first lady, who had primed herself to succeed her husband, has not been seen since the takeover but has been held with her husband under house arrest at the presidential residence in the upscale Borrowdale neighbourhood in Harare. Along with 20 of her close associates, Grace Mugabe was expelled from Zanu-PF on Sunday morning.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.