HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s ruling party assured Robert Mugabe that he wouldn’t be prosecuted if he resigned, a party official said Thursday, as the fate of the 93-year-old became clearer and the country prepared to move on.

“Prosecuting him was never part of the plan,” ZANU-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Associated Press. “He is safe, his family is safe and his status as a hero of his country is assured. All we were saying is resign or face impeachment.”

As Zimbabwe prepared to witness the swearing-in of new president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday morning, its citizens circulated on social media a new photo showing what appeared to be Mugabe at the end of his 37-year rule.

Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not spoken publicly since his stunning speech on Sunday defying calls from the military, ruling party and the people to step down.

Mnangagwa a former justice and defense minister with close ties to the military who served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, remains on a U.S. sanctions list over allegations of violently cracking down on opponents.

He will serve Mugabe’s remaining term until elections next year. On Thursday, Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans against “vengeful retribution.”