BOB DOWNED

Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule of Zimbabwe is over.

The anti-colonial revolutionary turned dictator has confirmed his immediate resignation from the position of president in a letter to the country’s parliament. After defying expectations by declining to resign in a speech delivered on Sunday, local time, Mugabe’s withdrawal came as the parliament initiated impeachment proceedings against him.

It is now expected the nation’s armed forces will relinquish control of the government, paving the way for Mugabe’s former deputy and ZANU-PF interim leader Emmerson Mnangagwa to take control. Mnangagwa has avoided public statements since last week’s coup but eventually joined calls for Mugabe to be sacked. He has close ties with the security leaders responsible for the coup.

Elections are due in August next year.

A security cable seen by Reuters indicates other African leaders including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma were aware of the Mnangagwa-Mugabe rivalry before the coup and offered Mugabe a role in the African Union were he prepared to step aside.

RUDDOCK TAKES THE RUDDER

Cabinet has signed off on a plan to have former immigration minister Philip Ruddock lead a review of religious protections in Australian law.

According to a report in The Daily Telegraph ($), the panel will also include Australian Human Rights Commission head Rosalind Croucher, priest Frank Brennan, and former judge Annabelle Bennett. The review would be wide-ranging and report back in early 2018.

The plan would decouple attempts to pass marriage equality laws and the question of religious protections, potentially easing the passage of legislation before the end of the year. In recent days, senior government ministers including Peter Dutton have warned a rush to formalise such protections could have unintended consequences. “There’s no way I’ll be supporting a process that gives rise to a push for sharia law,” Dutton has said ($).

Dr Jamal Rifi dismissed the talk of sharia ($) as a “beat up”.

TENDER WAGE

Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe has predicted an increase to interest rates in the “near term”, which remain at a record low of 1.5%.

In a speech yesterday evening, Lowe said that despite a tightening labour market firms were failing to pay employees more, and that this was dampening inflation. ‘‘Not only are wage increases low, but some people have been moving out of high-paying jobs associated with the mining sector into lower-paying jobs,’’ he said.

Lowe also used the speech to warn about household debt levels and pointed to automation and competition from foreign workers ($) as reasons for sluggish wage growth.

READ ALL ABOUT IT 

Sydney FC’s FFA Cup triumph marred by melee after ball boy pushed over

Turnbull Cabinet discusses an about-face on holding a Royal Commission into Australia’s banks ($)

Nigeria mosque attack: suicide bomber kills dozens

Nauru refugee regime to cost taxpayers $385 million over next 12 months

James Cook Univer­sity slapdown of Great Barrier Reef science critic heads to court ($)

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney: The 20th anniversary of the death of INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence.

Sydney: Anti-West Connex protestors deliver 5,000 letters to the NSW Parliament.

Sydney: Channel Nine face a defamation hearing brought by Mouhammad and Pamela Tabbaa over a 60 Minutes program.

Canberra: Social Services Minister Christian Porter speaks at the National Press Club.

Brisbane: Hearing in the Brisbane Supreme Court for the Liberal National Party which is fighting to keep the source of $100,000 in political donations secret.

Brisbane: One Nation adviser Sean Black faces assault charges in the Magistrates’ Court.

Melbourne: The Grattan Institute holds an event on the future of energy featuring chair of the Energy Security Board Kerry Schott and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission head Rod Sims.

THE COMMENTARIAT

It’s Turnbull’s tax strategy to survive — Paul Kelly (The Australian $): “The government believes the politics of corporate tax cuts will change in its favour next year. Its long-run goal is a 25 per cent rate.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Turnbull just went from fizzer to finished — Bernard Keane: “Given my history of dud political predictions, my declaring that it’s over for Turnbull might just be the kiss of life he needs. But the common theme of Turnbull’s prime ministership is his lack of judgement, every bit as much as Tony Abbott’s relentless undermining and the right’s attempt to keep Australia locked in the 19th century.”

Don Dale: damning recommendations must be acted on — Natalie Cromb: “Australia is very good at announcing royal commissions but woeful at taking legitimate action to address the systemic problems that lead to the abuse and trauma of Indigenous people — particularly children.”

Up Yours with Helen Razer: sinking tinnies with ‘the bastard’ Chris Graham — Helen Razer: “‘I get that people think I am a fucking idiot, a terrible businessman and deeply flawed. And all of that is true. But I still get to write what I want, and I publish other people who would never be otherwise published.'”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

 

Peter Fray

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