Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe will finally be removed from power today as his party Zanu-Pf will takes it decision. The meeting which is scheduled to take place at 10:30 local time, and is also set to see the removal of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, as head of the Zanu-PF Women’s League.
It was gathered Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was ousted by Mugabe earlier this month as Zimbabwe’s vice-president, will be reinstated.
There had been calls for a “Day of Rage” but a mammoth crowd had poured out into the streets yesterday convinced that they were seeing the end of Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
The protesters were even said to have began marching towards Mugabe’s residence, live television pictures showes. The 93-year-old Mugabe has been under house arrest in his lavish ‘Blue Roof’ compound in Harare from where he has watched support from his Zanu-PF party, security services and people evaporate in less than three days.
However, Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, told Reuters the elderly leader and his wife were “ready to die for what is correct” and had no intention of stepping down in order to legitimise what he described as a coup.
Speaking from a secret location in South Africa, Zhuwao said Mugabe had hardly slept since the military seized power on Wednesday but his health was otherwise “good”.
On Harare’s streets, emotions ran high as Zimbabweans spoke of a second liberation for the former British colony, alongside their dreams of political and economic change after two decades of deepening repression and hardship.
“These are tears of joy,” Frank Mutsindikwa, 34, said, holding aloft the Zimbabwean flag. “I’ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.”
The secretary-general of Zimbabwe’s War Veterans Association, Victor Matemadanda, called on those at an anti-Mugabe rally to march on Mugabe’s residence and live television footage showed hundreds of protesters marching in that direction.
“Let us now go and deliver the message that grandfather Mugabe and his typist-cum-wife should go home,” Matemadanda told the crowd in the Harare township of Highfield.
Meanwhile, Zimbabweans abroad were also awaiting the end of Mugabe’s rule. Hundreds living in Britain gathered outside the country’s British embassy building.
“I am happy today because Bob Mugabe is about to go. He must go. At least if he goes, we’ll have a change of president after so many years of injustice,” said Florence, a 34-year-old who declined to give her last name.