Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN)- Zimbabwe’s former vice president has returned to the country to serve as interim President, the state broadcaster reports, following veteran leader Robert Mugabe’s resignation after 37 years of rule.
Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to be sworn in on Friday and is expected to address his ruling ZANU-PF party later today, according to state broadcaster ZBC.
Mugabe, 93, fired Mnangagwa as his deputy more than two weeks ago, triggering a political firestorm that culminated in his own humiliating defeat on Tuesday. Mnangagwa fled the country after his dismissal.
Following a night of cheering, singing and dancing in euphoric celebration, Zimbabwe awoke Wednesday to its first day in almost four decades without the leader who had ruled the country with an iron fist.
Thousands of Mnangagwa’s supporters gathered at the airport and the ruling ZANU-PF party’s headquarters in the capital, Harare, to wait for the man dubbed “The Crocodile” to return and open a new chapter in the country’s history.