The decision by Robert Mugabe to stand down as president of Zimbabwe shows that he has listened to the people’s voices, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.
“An orderly and irreversible transition towards genuinely democratic elections is our shared objective. The consolidation of the constitutional order and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms are key,” Mogherini said.
It is important now that an inclusive dialogue is established that respects the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe for a more prosperous and democratic future, and which encourages the acceleration of key reforms, she said.
“The EU stands ready to accompany this process in cooperation with the African Union and SADC, and to assist the Zimbabwean people with all instruments at its disposal in order to meet that objective.”
Mugabe (93), who has run Zimbabwe for 37 years, first as prime minister and later as president, tabled his resignation on November 21 amid widespread pressure to step down from his own ZANU-PF party. His resignation came as Zimbabwe’s parliament was initiating impeachment proceedings against him, on the grounds of – among other things – the country’s severe economic collapse as a result of his rule.
News of Mugabe’s resignation was received with elation in capital city Harare and in southern neighbour South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg, home to large numbers of Zimbabwean migrants.