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

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

Source: ‘Go, go, our general,’ giddy Zimbabweans say as they gather to march against Mugabe | News24

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

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

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.


  • comment-avatar

    That’s it, I’m done with Zimbabwe. They are the stupidest, most moronic people who deserve their fate. This ‘march’ was at the behest of Chiwenga, Mnangagwa and their cabal. All to put pressure on Mugabe to resign so it doesn’t look like a coup. And these morons have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. This is not a MDC win where the joy might be understood. This is a mere power grab by a faction who are at least as bad as Mugabe and probably worse. It’s like exchanging Himmler for Hitler. Oh yes, there will be lofty speeches and ‘new dawns’ and a ‘new Zimbabwe’. Poppycock. MDC do not have a hope of being elected. Chiwenga is on record as saying they will never accept an MDC government. Let’s see if a march on this scale for MDC will be allowed in 6 months!!! Mnangagwa and Chiwenga will be as corrupt and brutal as Mugabe. It is mind numbing an disgusting that the people would allow themselves to be manipulated like this. Zanu Pf are all dyed from the same cloth. MDC are the only hope and they will never be allowed to govern. Pamberi stupidity.

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    My understanding is that the new government to be sworn in next week will consist of representatives from all parties, MDC included. In fact Tsvangirai is being proposed to be the main leader or Prime Minister. This would allow a period of stabilisation leading to elections. I think it’s the best outcome. Having themselves suffered Mugabe’s tyranny I doubt that the generals will attempt the same. I now see what’s been happening these years: everyone was frightened of Mugabe because he used his juniors against each other. The generals were also afraid of him. He put them in those positions. That’s why they might have seemed to be his allies when in fact they were only doing what was necessary to avoid being accused of being traitors. Mugabe used divide and rule and intimidation very skilfully.