Robert Mugabe

Harare - Zimbabwe army chief General Constantino Chiwenga called Tuesday for "maximum restraint" and law and order to be upheld after Robert Mugabe's resignation sparked wild celebrations and plunged the country into uncertainty.

"Against the backdrop of the latest developments in our country, your defence and security services would want to appeal to all Zimbabweans across the political divide to exercise maximum restraint and observe law and order to the fullest," Chiwenga said at a press briefing.

Earlier on, Zimbabwe's Parliament erupted in cheers after the speaker announced the resignation of Mugabe.

The speaker stopped impeachment proceedings to say they had received a letter from Mugabe with the resignation "with immediate effect."

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It is an extraordinary end for the world's oldest head of state after 37 years in power.

His resignation also sparked jubilant scenes on the streets of the capital as the 93-year-old's term of office, in power since Zimbabwe attained independence from colonial rule in 1980, finally came to an end.

AFP and AP