Zimbabweans in their numbers have taken to the streets of Harare on Saturday, waving national flags, singing and dancing while calling for President Mugabe to be fired.
A slew of them saw the apparent military coup in the country as a reason to rejoice at the expected fall of the veteran leader.
“These are tears of joy,” Frank Mutsindikwa, 34, told Reuters, holding aloft the Zimbabwean flag. “I’ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.”
Citizens say the Zimbabwean Defence Force’s move to take control of government this week has given them hope that this may be the end for Mugabe who has held on to power since independence. Thus, the elated citizens flooded Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare to celebrate.
The marchers blocked some streets with some holding red cards, calling for Mugabe to leave office.
Armed soldiers can be seen at most intersections directing traffic and ensuring order on the streets.
Meanwhile, it seems President Robert Mugabe has lost the long-time support of his own political party – ZANU-PF. According to Zimbabwe national TV – ZBC, ZANU-PF has now turned against Mugabe. The state broadcaster and Herald reported that all 10 of the veteran leader’s political party’s provincial committees called on him to resign on Friday amid military coup.
“The province resolved unanimously to recall the president from being the president of the party and the government,” said Cornelius Mupereri, a spokesman for the party’s Midlands region. Mupereri was one of many branch officials who appeared on ZBC’s nightly news to call for the 93-year-old leader to let go.
A few years ago, this would have sounded impossible. Notwithstanding, with what is happening on the streets and the comments made so far, Mugabe has apparently lost the support of his people.
For the most part, the military seems to be very careful in handling the situation to avoid violence and preserve international relations.