Zimbabwe’s recently fired vice president – who fled the country after death threats – is set to return to be sworn in as the new leader after Robert Mugabe resigned.
Local media reports that Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in on Friday.
Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s long-time deputy, was pushed aside earlier this month as unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe positioned herself to replace him and succeed her husband.
That led to Mr Mnangagwa fled the country, claiming to have received threats on his life.
When he fled, it led the military to step in a week ago, opening the door for the ruling party and the people to publicly turn against the president.
Mugabe, who was the world’s oldest head of state, said in his resignation letter that legal procedures should be followed to install a new president ‘no later than tomorrow’.
Zimbabweans erupted in response on Tuesday, cheering and dancing in the streets late into the night, thrilled to be rid of a leader whose early promise after the end of white minority rule in 1980 was overtaken by economic collapse, government dysfunction and human rights violations.
‘I think this change of government is like a new breath of fresh air right across the country,’ said Patrick Musira on the streets of the capital, Harare.
‘Everyone was engulfed with excitement and they are looking for a better future, a brighter future with work.’