ZIMBABWEANS of all races turned up in their thousands in the capital city of Harare today to denounce president Robert Mugabe and call for him to step down.
From early this morning when marchers took to the streets before gathering in Freedom Square for an organised march to the state house, the mood was plainly combative against president Mugabe continuing to be head of state.
Youths carrying banners decrying Mugabe’s presidency were in the forefront of the march, shouting out their demands for Mugabe to step down.
“He must go now, today!” shouted one young man who looked around 25 years of age, which means he has never known any other leader besides Mugabe who has been in power for 37 years.
“We want him to tell us what he did with the $15 million dollars from the sale of our diamonds,” cried another to a BBC journalist caught up in the excited melee in the streets.
Some youths in the crowd called for sacked vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the favourite to become the next leader, by shouting ‘Ngwena, Ngwena’, or ‘Crocodile, Crocodile’
Throughout the day, social networks and international media, such as BBC and Sky News, broadcast a series of bulletins showing jubilant scenes of people of all ages dancing in the streets.
“If anyone doubted how the people of Zimbabwe feel about having Mugabe as their president, that doubt has been completely erased today,” said Ronald Chili who took part in the march. “Mugabe is the biggest political conman Zimbabwe has ever known and today the people have spoken loud and clear that he should be confined to the dustbin of history.”
Over the past couple of days senior officials of the ruling party, Zanu-Pf, have been denouncing Mugabe and making it plain that his grip on power has finally been broken.
Significantly, all the 10 provinces controlled by Zanu-Pf across the country have passed a ‘no confidence’ motion on Mugabe, further making it difficult for him to survive a process of impeachment which the party is planning to trigger on Tuesday.
Joseph Chinotimba a war veteran formerly regarded as a stalwart supporter of Mugabe was seen on videos posted on social media celebrating the downfall of his former boss with unrestrained joy.
Even Zimbabwe’s current Environment minister, Oppha Muchinguri, was bold in her condemnation of Mugabe. Addressing a crowd of marchers in Harare, she said: “I thank you all for being resolute. Now let’s remain focused and finish what we started. Let’s take Mugabe with a firm grip and remove him.”
Unconfirmed reports said one of Mugabe’s nephews, Patrick Zhuwao, told members of the press in Harare that his uncle has no intention of stepping down and is prepared to die for what is “correct.”
A political commentator in Harare said: “I don’t know if Mugabe has had access to television broadcasts showing thousands of people in the streets of Harare demanding an end to his rule. If he has, there should be no doubt in his mind that the game is up and that there is nothing Sadc or AU can do to prolong his stay in office.”