'Let's celebrate about Robert Mugabe tonight'

2017-11-21 23:42
Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe's resignation. (Marco Longari/AFP)

Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe's resignation. (Marco Longari/AFP)

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Harare – The moment the news trickled out that Robert Mugabe had resigned after nearly 40 years in power, Zimbabweans started flooding the streets of Harare to celebrate.

Last week, Zimbabweans in large numbers voiced their desire to see the end of Mugabe’s 37-year-rule, but the nonagenarian had been digging in, defiant to the calls.

The country held its collective breath on Sunday night in the hope that he would resign after thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to demand his resignation.

But it didn't happen.

The ruling party, Zanu-PF, gave Mugabe until noon on Monday to resign, but that deadline also passed, paving the way for impeachment proceedings.

But on Tuesday, as members of parliament were getting ready to get impeachment proceedings under way and ordinary Zimbabweans gathered in Africa Unity Square, opposite parliament, the speaker of parliament read out Mugabe’s resignation letter.

Thousands of Zimbabweans poured into the streets to celebrate the news of Mugabe’s departure.

FULL LETTER: Robert Mugabe's resignation notice

Patience Mpofu, 30, a mother of four, told News24 that she was left speechless by the news.

"I'm so glad Mugabe is out, but we know it's not the solution. It's just a step in the right direction,” she said.

"I can’t explain it. I feel like crying… I thought maybe this was just a daydream. I never thought this would happen in my lifetime," she said.

"In my opinion, I am not really looking at who is going to come after Mugabe. But, what makes me happy is that it is a step in the right direction," she said.

Mpofu said she was hopeful the change of leaders in Zimbabwe would lead to a better future for her four children.

As the night progressed, more and more Zimbabweans took to the streets, and intersections were completely blocked off.

The roads were packed with cars, trucks and buses loaded with people, who celebrated and danced on top of the vehicles.

People made their way over to soldiers, hugging them and thanking them for their role in removing Mugabe.

"Soldier, soldier, soldier," they chanted whenever an army vehicle drove pass.

By 22:00, cars were still racing along Samora Machel Avenue.

READ: Presidential hopeful Emmerson Mnangagwa flying from SA to Zimbabwe

Earlier, Happy Chaira, who had been travelling by bus to Harare, arrived to find the streets full of people celebrating.

"I wasn't aware of what's happening. I just heard all the hooters and asked people what was happening. They said: 'Haven't you heard? He's gone.'," Chaira said. 

"It's like freedom. People were suffering. It's freedom at last," he said. 

"I think he has done the right thing. For the people, he had to resign," Chaira said.

Fanwell Chamu, also from Harare, said he hoped seeing the back of Mugabe would mean that Zimbabweans could work together to get the country on the right track.

"We’ve got so much potential. I really hope we can rebuild and investors can come and invest in this country again," he said.

"We’re all glad to see Mugabe go. I know people have been saying [Emmerson] Mnangagwa has been doing this and he has been doing that. Let’s not think about that now," Chamu said.

"Let’s celebrate tonight. We have wanted to get rid of Mugabe for a long time, and now he is gone. We can worry about the future tomorrow," he said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  rober mugabe

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