Latest News

UPDATE: Car horns and wild cheers in Harare as Mugabe resigns

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Car horns blared and cheering crowds raced through the streets of Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Tuesday as news spread that President Robert Mugabe had resigned after 37 years in power.

The announcement came after days of building pressure on the 93-year-old authoritarian leader, who was feared by many of his citizens through his long and often repressive rule.

"We are just so happy that things are finally going to change," Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, told AFP.

"We woke up every morning waiting for this day. This country has been through tough times." After a week of political turmoil, Zimbabweans reacted with shock and unfettered joy. "I am so happy that Mugabe is gone, 37 years under a dictatorship is not a joke," said Tinashe Chakanetsa, 18.

"I am hoping for a new Zimbabwe ruled by the people and not by one person.

"We need leaders who are selected by the people and not rulers. I am looking forward to get a job after our economy recovers."

Massive crowds gathered within minutes of the shock announcement to parliament.

"It's shocking, that guy (was) powerful, very powerful," said Barber Wright Chirombe, one of those who joined the euphoric street celebrations.

At the Rainbow Towers conference centre where the resignation notice was read out to a meeting of lawmakers discussing Mugabe's impeachment, a framed portrait of the president was ripped from the wall, torn apart and stamped to pieces by a cheering crowd.

Men danced, women sang and many were in tears, brandishing national flags and often praising General Constantino Chiwenga — the man who led the army takeover — as the news began to sink in.

"We were reduced to worthless people under Mugabe," Yeukai Magwari, 33, a vendor dancing with a group of uniformed domestic maids in the Avondale neighbourhood of the capital.

"From now on we don't want to see our elderly men and women sleeping in queues outside banks, and people reduced to being destitute after going to college."

Tendai Chaitezvi, 29, a bank employee celebrated with friends at the Fiesta bar in the Avenues district as music was blasted from several car stereos.

"The situation in the country under this man was rough," he said. "A lot of our friends went abroad in search of jobs and were wondering how we managed to survive back here.

"There is suddenly a sense of optimism now. Today is the start of hoping that things will get back to normal."

Leah Macharaga, 37, was born in 1980, the same year that Mugabe came to power. "I hated that man," she said simply.

Modesta Macharaga, 35, told AFP: "I am happy beyond words. Now we expect a better future for our country than the hardship we endured under Mugabe."

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT