Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have flooded the streets of Harare in an outpouring of elation at the expected fall of President Robert Mugabe, their leader of the last 37 years. Jacob Greaves reports.
Singing, dancing and hugging soldiers. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have flooded the streets of Harare celebrating the expected fall of President Robert Mugabe. In outpourings of elation people praised the efforts of the army and chanted for freedom Only on Wednesday (November 15) the military seized power. Since, Mugabe has been holed up in a lavish compound- watching support from his Zanu PF party, the security services AND the people slip away. Scenes like this might make you think he's on his way out. But in a defiant public outing Friday (November 17) there was little indication he plans to step aside. Wearing an academic gown and mortar board Mugabe appeared in public for the first time since the coup, attending a graduation ceremony. The key question is whether this will be his last public appearance as president. The odds appear increasingly stacked against him. A Zanu-PF source has told Reuters the party's wants him gone- with impeachment potentially on the cards. The fate of his wife Grace also hangs in the balance. Her ambitions to succeed Mugabe have outraged the military and much of the country. Pointedly as these scenes unfolded in Zimbabwe's capital Saturday (November 18) . Neighboring ruler, south Africa's Jacob Zuma, said the region was committed to supporting the "people of Zimbabwe," adding he was cautiously optimistic of an amicable solution. The military has also thrown its weight behind this so called 'solidarity march.' The veneer of mass public support might help stave of any future diplomatic backlash for staging the coup.