22/11/2017 05:16 GMT | Updated 22/11/2017 05:51 GMT

MDC: 'This Is A Big Moment For Zimbabwe'

The Movement for Democratic Change party, has described the resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe as a "new beginning for everyone in the country".

WIKUS DE WET / AFP / Getty Images
A Zimbabwean national burns a shirt of the Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, as hundreds of Zimbabweans living in South Africa celebrate the resignation of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe in the streets of the district of Hillbrow in Johannesburg on November 21, 2017.

Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has described the resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe as a "new beginning for everyone in the country".

In an interview with News24, an excited opposition deputy president Nelson Chamisa said this was an important day for Zimbabweans as they were afforded an opportunity to "usher in democracy and the rule of law".

"This is a big moment for Zimbabwe. Its a good moment for Mugabe too as he now gets a chance to rest," said Chamisa.

It is an irreversible moment for us as citizens. It's a fresh start for all. We would get to usher in the rule of law and build our democracy.

Reports said that Mugabe's resignation brought an end to the impeachment proceedings brought by the ruling Zanu-PF party after its Central Committee voted to oust the nonagenarian as party leader and select ex-vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa as his replacement.

Currently in exile, Mnangagwa - who served for decades as Mugabe's enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, and more feared than popular - was set to take over as the country's leader.

Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (R) shares a joke with his vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa during Mugabe's birthday celebrations at Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo, February 27, 2016.

But, according to Chamisa, Deputy President Phekezela Mphoko should be the acting president, although the opposition party was likely not going to challenge the ruling party's choice on who would take over from Mugabe.

"This would be an easy issue to solve, Deputy President Mphoko should be the acting president. But we are not going to interfere with what the ruling party says. This is not our business, it's the ruling party that should decide."

Chamisa said they were hoping that a free and fair election was going to take place in 2018 as scheduled.

"A free, fair and democratic election is supposed to take place in June or July next year. We are hoping that we are going to be able to stick to that mandate. We should be able to usher in a democratic government then," said Chamisa.