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Robert Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa is on his way back to Zimbabwe

Emmerson Mnangagwa is returning to replace the outgoing president who resigned on Tuesday, prompting jubilation on the streets.

Zimbabweans celebrate in the morning sun after President Mugabe resigned in Harare
Zimbabweans celebrate in the morning sun after President Robert Mugabe resigned in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Zimbabwe’s former vice president is due to return home to be sworn in as president after the resignation of Robert Mugabe.

Emmerson Mnangagwa was sacked two weeks ago by Mr Mugabe – a move that plunged the country into a political crisis and eventually led to the dictator’s resignation after 37 years in power.

One of Mr Mnangagwa’s assistants, Larry Mavhima said: Comrade Mnangagwa is coming back today.

He was expected to land in Zimbabwe at 4pm UK time and be sworn in on Friday, according to the country’s state broadcaster.

Wild celebrations continued on the streets of Zimbabwe overnight, with people dancing and singing following Mr Mugabe’s departure.

Welcome to the new Zimbabwe! people chanted outside the Harare conference centre where MPs had earlier met to start impeachment proceedings.

This is the best day of my life, said one man, as people celebrated on cars and crowded round tanks to shake hands with the soldiers lauded for their role in getting rid of the reviled leader.

We didn’t fight the 1980 war but we fought the 2017 war and we are happy that Mugabe is gone and he’s gone for good. Happy new Zimbabwe, said another Harare resident.

Zimbabweans in other countries also celebrated the downfall of their long-time leader.

A crowd gathered outside the country’s embassy in London, with people jumping up and down, waving flags and talking of national joy and a new hope.

Zimbabweans living in South Africa took to the streets of Johannesburg and some were pictured burning shirts of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Mr Mugabe announced his resignation with immediate effect on Tuesday afternoon.

The 93-year-old said he had chosen to step down to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power, and that he had made the decision voluntarily.

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Robert Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa is on his way back to Zimbabwe