Zimbabwe rally calling for Mugabe's removal 'truly spine-tingling'

18 November 2017, 17:09

Mass euphoria, mixed with frustration infused the streets of Zimbabwe's capital Harare and other cities up and down the country as tens of thousands of people answered the call to demonstrate their wish that their President, Robert Mugabe, should go.

This country has never seen anything like it - where once anti-government gatherings would have been swiftly and firmly snuffed out, this time the army stood by and soldiers were cheered by the gathered hordes.

People of all political persuasions and none sang, danced and marched their opposition to the head of state.

Protesters took selfies with reporters and thanked the media for being there to witness their defiance.

It truly was a spine-tingling, historic day, unprecedented in this hamstrung southern African nation in the 37 years since Mr Mugabe came to power.

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What turned an extraordinary event into a barely credible one was the fact that the prime movers behind the demonstrations, were not the traditional opposition groups, but Mugabe's own politician party ZANU PF and the war veterans who had fought alongside the President in the long struggle for independence for Zimbabwe.

What had been Mr Mugabe's power base was leading the charge to dethrone him.

There were tears of emotion as people so long-living under the shadow of a de facto dictator realised they were within touching distance of a new future.

Despite the huge crowds there was no disorder and when the soldiers on duty asked the protesters to move on so they could re-open the roads, there was polite compliance.

It truly was an unforgettable, moving day for everyone who was there, including me.