ZIMBABWE: Dictator Robert Mugabe Resigns

The New York Times reports:

Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, resigned as president on Tuesday shortly after lawmakers began impeachment proceedings against him, according to the speaker of Parliament.

The speaker of Parliament read out a letter in which Mr. Mugabe said he was stepping down “with immediate effect” for “the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and the need for a peaceful transfer of power.”

Parliament erupted into cheers and jubilant residents poured into the streets of Harare, the capital. It seemed to be an abrupt capitulation by Mr. Mugabe, who had refused to step down only two days earlier, when his former political party, ZANU-PF, formally expelled him.

Then on Tuesday, members of the governing party introduced a motion of impeachment, invoking a constitutional process that had never before been tested.

Mugabe has called for castrating gay men, calling them “worse than pigs and dogs,” and once demanded that Obama prove he’s not “the son of a whore.” Gay activists have reported being tortured in his jails.