Robert Mugabe has been removed as president of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party and replaced by his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a party delegate told AFP on Sunday outside a meeting in Harare.

“A resolution has been adopted to recall the president and elevate Mnangagwa as the party president,” said the delegate, who declined to be named.

With the latest development, President Robert Mugabe was set to face the imminent collapse of his 37-year regime.

Mugabe’s grip on power was broken last week when the military took over after his wife Grace emerged as the leading candidate to succeed the 93-year-old president, who is the world’s oldest head of state.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of overjoyed protesters flooded the streets of Zimbabwe in peaceful celebrations marking the apparent end of his long and authoritarian rule.

“We meet here today with a heavy heart,” party official Obert Mpofu told the ZANU-PF meeting in Harare on Sunday, referring to Mugabe as “the outgoing president”.

“[Mugabe’s] wife and close associates have taken advantage of his frail condition to usurp power and loot state resources,” he said.

“Our people are demanding… the recall of the president and first secretary of ZANU-PF from his position in the party,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the influential ZANU-PF Youth League reversed its previous devotion to Mugabe, saying that he must resign and Grace must be expelled from the party.

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