Thousands of people are dancing in the streets of Zimbabwe as protesters started celebrating the end of an era. The jubilant rally descended on Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, as demonstrators demanded Robert Mugabe’s exit.
Emotions turned jubilant as people explored a rare chance to freely express their views amid the political limbo. Zimbabweans giddy with joy raced through the streets, raising their arms in triumph. Young men and women shouted, laughed and embraced. Others danced on top of moving buses.
People cheer with Zimbabwe’s military
Some had posters 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 took them and waved.
‘It’s like Christmas,’ said one marcher, Fred Mubay, who said Zimbabweans have been suffering for a long time. At 93, Mugabe is the world’s oldest head of state, and is said to be asking for more time as he seeks an exit with a veneer of dignity. But he is virtually powerless and deserted by most of his allies, with others arrested, and the ruling party has turned on him.
The dancing crowds in Harare were making it clear the country wants to move on without Mugabe, who took power 37 years ago. Even as concerns remain about who will take power and what temporary freedoms might remain, people revelled in the rare chance to speak out.