19 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Says to Boot Mugabe Out On Sunday

President Robert Mugabe will be fired from the Zanu PF leadership on Sunday, party sources said Saturday as negotiations for his departure continued amid wild celebrations in Bulawayo and Harare.

This comes after the ruling party's 10 provinces voted for the removal of Mugabe following a coup staged by the army early last week. They also want first lady Grace Mugabe recalled as head of the women's league.

Zanu PF officials said former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom Mugabe fired, will automatically be reinstated and eventually made the leader.

Former war veterans minister Tshinga Dube said, "We are just going to properly send the old man away as early as tomorrow or so".

Mugabe's 37-year rule has been effectively at an end since the army seized control on Wednesday, confining him to his residence, saying it wanted to target the "criminals" around him.

According to ZBC, Mugabe will Sunday meet the generals through the mediation of Catholic priest Fidelis Mukonori for the continuation of the negotiations.

But mass euphoria mixed with frustration infused the streets of Bulawayo and Harare and parts of London as thousands of people answered the call to demonstrate their wish that Mugabe should go, said Sky News.

According to Sky News, Zimbabwe 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 sang, danced and marched their opposition to the head of state, the report said.

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

In Harare, close to a million people gathered at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield holding placards which read: "#freshstart; the blood, soil and spirit of Zimbabwe bind us together; leadership is not sexually transmitted; Free Maria O'Donovan; Mugabe leave Zimbabwe now!!!; G40 pay back our money as well as SADC and AU stay out of our Affairs and many more.

The gathering, one of the biggest ever in the history of Zimbabwe, was spearheaded by the War Veterans Association led by Christopher Mutsvangwa and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).

Zimbabweans compared the gathering to the one witnessed at Rufaro Stadium when the late reggae artist Bob Marley came to Zimbabwe on the eve of independence back in 1980.

The crowd later marched to State House where they were blocked by the army who barricaded Josiah Tongogara and Simon Muzenda Streets.

ZDF spokesperson, major general Sibusiso Moyo, later addressed the crowd informing them that no agreement had been reached yet between the army and President Mugabe.

Major Moyo advised marchers to wait for the outcome of the talks which are said to be encountering hurdles as Mugabe refuses to step down.

Present at the march were ministers Patrick Chinamasa, Marble Chinomona, Oppah Muchinguri, Josiah Hungwe and Tshinga Dube.

Opposition party leaders were also in attendance with National People's Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru, MDC-T vice president Nelson Chamisa and Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora present. Former deputy PM Arthur Mutambara was given a big welcome by Lacoste officials.

In her speech, Muchinguri called for Mugabe's ouster while Mwonzora called for unity and peace among all political parties.

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