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The President of Zimbabwe is the head of state of Zimbabwe, elected by direct universal suffrage using a two-round system.

President of the
Republic of Zimbabwe
Flag of the President of Zimbabwe.svg
Presidential Flag
Emmerson Mnangagwa

since 24 November 2017
Style His Excellency
(Formal, in international correspondence)
Comrade President
Residence State House
Appointer Direct popular vote
Term length 5 years, renewable once[1]
Inaugural holder Canaan Banana
Formation 18 April 1980
Deputy Vice-President of Zimbabwe
Salary US$200,000 (2014)[2]

The President is also the head of government, as the office of Prime Minister was abolished in 1987. The office was restored as a result of the 2008–09 political negotiations, but abolished again following the 2013 constitutional referendum.

Under the rules adopted by the same referendum, the president serves a maximum of two five-year terms.[1] This did not have a retroactive effect on past terms of office already served or currently being served as of 2013.[3]


History of the officeEdit

The office of the President of Zimbabwe was established in 1980, when the country gained independence from the United Kingdom. A Methodist minister, Canaan Banana, became the first President, serving until 1987 in a mostly ceremonial role. The real power was vested in the Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe. In 1987, Mugabe succeeded Banana as President after he revised the Constitution to make the presidency an executive post.

2017 coup d'étatEdit

On 14 November 2017, armed military personnel from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces invaded the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation studios in Harare before Major General Sibusiso Moyo came out on a live television broadcast declaring that the army had activated an operation that would later be known as "Operation Restore Legacy." Moyo stated that President Mugabe and his family would be safe and their security would be guaranteed, as the operation was only targeting criminals around him. What followed thereafter was a well-planned and carefully-executed crackdown on members of a faction within the ruling ZANU-PF party known as G40. The Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Central Intelligence Organisation, both deemed loyal to the president, were neutralised by the army, which arrested some of their top leaders.

On 21 November 2017, facing an impeachment vote from a combined session of the House of Assembly and Senate, Mugabe resigned as president. Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as his replacement on 24 November 2017.

Presidents of Zimbabwe (1980–present)Edit

President Took office Left office Time in office Party Election
1Banana, CanaanCanaan Banana
18 April 198031 December 19877 years, 257 daysZANU1980
2Mugabe, RobertRobert Mugabe
(born 1924)
31 December 198721 November 201729 years, 325 daysZANU-PF1990
3Mnangagwa, EmmersonEmmerson Mnangagwa
(born 1942)
24 November 2017Incumbent324 daysZANU-PF2018

Phelekezela Mphoko was the Second (and only sitting) Vice-President at the time of Mugabe’s resignation on 21 November 2017. Mphoko may have been acting President of Zimbabwe for three days until Mnangagwa’s accession to the presidency. However, as Mphoko was not in the country at the time, and due to the unusual circumstances, any official standing on this is unclear and may never be known.[4][5][6][7]

Rank by time in officeEdit

Rank President Time in office
1 Robert Mugabe 29 years, 325 days
2 Canaan Banana 7 years, 257 days
3 Emmerson Mnangagwa 324 days

Latest electionEdit

Living former heads of stateEdit

Excluding Mphoko (Vice President) and Joice Mujuru (Vice President) there is currently one living former President of Zimbabwe (as of 14 October 2018):

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Zimbabweans hope for democratic rebirth". BBC News. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  2. ^ Gumbo, Lloyd (22 April 2014). "President reveals monthly salary". The Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  3. ^ Allison, Simon (26 March 2013). "Even Zimbabwe's constitution waits for Mugabe to pass the baton, or pass away". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
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