Zimbabwe’s ruling party will meet on Sunday to oust President Robert Mugabe and reinstate the vice president recently fired by the now-disgraced leader, two sources told Reuters on Saturday as thousands of people celebrated. in the streets of the country.
Demonstrators in the streets of Harare call for the resignation of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.
State television said Mugabe would meet with military commanders as well on Sunday, citing Catholic priest Fidelis Mukonori, who has been mediating in negotiations with the president.
But tens of thousands of Zimbabweans did not need an official announcement of the expected fall of the president to leave on Saturday in the streets of Harare, singing, dancing and hugging the soldiers in an extraordinary demonstration of euphoria, excited by a possible political and economic change after two decades of repression and growing difficulties.
Some carried banners held high saying “No to the Mugabe dynasty” and raised their fists as a sign of freedom. Others embraced the soldiers who seized power, shouting “Thank you! Thanks! “In scenes unthinkable even a week ago.
“These are our leaders now,” said Remember Moffat, 22, with an image of Army commander Constantino Chiwenga and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president whose firing by Mugabe earlier this month precipitated military intervention.
“A NEW ZIMBABWE”
The sources indicated that in the meeting of the central committee of the ZANU-PF official party, scheduled for 10:30 local time (0830 GMT) on Sunday, the wife of the 93-year-old president, Grace, will also be dismissed from her post of the League of Women of the party and the successor preferred by the president.
Mugabe and Grace are “willing to die for what is right” and have no intention of resigning to legitimize this week’s military coup, his nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, told Reuters on Saturday.
The only ruler Zimbabwe has known since his independence from the United Kingdom in 1980, Mugabe has locked himself in his luxurious complex ‘Blue Roof’, from where he has seen the support of his party, the security services and the people after the seizure of military power on Wednesday.
Shortly after the sources revealed the news of the imminent meeting of the ruling party, a convoy left the official residence of Mugabe in the capital Harare, although a security member said that the president was not in it.
Mugabe is admired by some in Africa as a veteran statesman and anti-colonial hero. But many more inside and outside the country see him as a dictator willing to resort to violence to retain power and sink an economy that in the past was promising.
“My dream is to see a new Zimbabwe. In all my life I have only met this tyrant named Mugabe, “said one of the protesters.
Additional reporting by Ed Cropley in Johannesburg and Emelia Sithole-Matarise in London; Written by Ed Cropley, Alexander Winning and James Macharia