'Go, go, our general,' giddy Zimbabweans say as they gather to march against Mugabe

2017-11-18 10:49
Zimbabwean protesters display pictures of axed vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and army general Constantino Chiwenga on Saturday morning. (Felix Dlangamandla)

Zimbabwean protesters display pictures of axed vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and army general Constantino Chiwenga on Saturday morning. (Felix Dlangamandla)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Euphoric crowds have gathered in Zimbabwe's capital to demand the departure of President Robert Mugabe after nearly four decades in power.

In a colourful gathering that even days ago would have drawn an immediate police crackdown, Zimbabweans giddy with joy raced through intersections, raising their arms in triumph. Young men shouted, laughed and embraced.

Some had posters with an image of the military commander who swept in earlier this week and put Mugabe under house arrest, with the slogan: "Go, go, our general!!!" Marchers handed flags to soldiers, who accepted and waved.

"It's like Christmas," said one marcher, Fred Mubay, who said Zimbabweans have been suffering for a long time.

The 93-year-old Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, is said to be asking for more time amid negotiations that seek his exit with a veneer of dignity.

But he is virtually powerless and deserted by most of his allies, and the crowds in Harare on Saturday were making it clear the country was ready to move on without him.

'Mugabe cornered'

Even as concerns remained about who next would be in charge and what freedoms might be available if the military lingered in power - or if Mugabe's longtime but recently fired deputy led a new government - people reveled in the rare chance to speak out.

The demonstrators, in an event approved by the military, hope a big turnout will speed up the official end of Mugabe's rule, which is widely blamed for the collapse of an economy that was once one of Africa's wealthiest.

Crowds gathered on main streets as cars honked their horns and people whistled and cheered, even as many continued to go about their daily business.

Veterans of the long liberation war against white minority rule, once close allies of Mugabe, took part, along with opposition activists who have faced police crackdowns by the Mugabe government.

At an intersection, a vendor held up a newspaper with the headline: "Mugabe cornered."

One driver was so jubilant that he got out of his moving car and danced in front of it for a couple of minutes as the empty vehicle coasted slowly down a street lined with cheering crowds.

Some white Zimbabweans joined the crowd at Harare's Freedom Square, also known as Robert Mugabe Square. Some whites and blacks hugged each other.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.