It is unclear whether Robert Mugabe resigned in response to the beginning of an impeachment process or as a result of negotiations with the militaryGETTY IMAGES

The streets of Harare erupted in jubilation after the speaker of the Zimbabwean parliament announced that Robert Mugabe had resigned ending his 37 year rule.

The speaker read out a letter to parliament in a packed joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate that had gathered to debate the impeachment of Mr Mugabe.

A spokesman for Zanu (PF), the ruling party, announced that Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy whom Mr Mugabe recently fired, would assume the presidency by Wednesday evening. The resignation letter read out to Parliament, however, made no mention of succession.

Squeals of delight, cheering and shouting broke out in parliament and in the capital as the 93-year-old finally ceded power after an apparently bloodless coup last week saw the military seize…