HARARE – Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans danced all night to celebrate President Robert Mugabe’s resignation on Tuesday after a military intervention.
Jubilant Zimbabweans celebrated in the streets until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
When the resignation news was first announced to a special joint sitting of Parliament called to consider an impeachment motion, legislators from the ruling party and opposition roared with joy and spontaneous scenes of joy erupted in the streets with people dancing, singing, honking cars and waving flags.
Some people who were just outside Rainbow Towers Hotel where Parliament was sitting, fell to their knees in celebration, with arms outstretched. Others kissed the ground. Others cried.
Blowing vuvuzelas and waving Zimbabwean flags, Zimbabweans started to come in the Central Business District (CBD) around 1800 hours.
Many said they did not care who the next president is as long as the man who ruled the country for almost four decades stepped down.
The atmosphere in Harare was electric, with most Zimbabweans, believing that the end of Mugabe will bring about a new dawn.
After an hour of celebrations in the city, people started to camp at Munhumutapa Building — the citadel of government power which houses the office of Mugabe.
Deep into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during Mugabe’s time.
Mugabe, who has been in power since the end of white minority rule in 1980, has presided over unprecedented economic collapse, government dysfunction and human rights violations.
In scenes perhaps unthinkable only few weeks ago, some people were seen knocking at the entrance of Muhumutapa Building shouting “urimo here Mugabe? Tauya watijairira, tauya paoffice pako (Are you in the office Mugabe, we have come to see you).”
Some people were seen dancing atop military vehicles and singing late into the night.
Some were heard singing “tipeiwo nguva yekuchema mhondi yedu, Robert yaiva mhondi (give us time to mourn this murderer, he was a murderer for real).”
Motorists had a torrid time to navigating past Munhumutapa, with some crowds dancing atop vehicles.
Some held posters of army chief general Constantino Chiwenga and president-designate Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month triggered the military takeover that eventually forced Mugabe out.
What made the scenes more interesting was that commuter omnibus operators started looking for passengers amid the jubilant crowds.
Some people were even drinking beer seated at the entrance of Munhumutapa Building celebrating the downfall of Mugabe.
Some were seen with their families, dancing and hugging soldiers.
“We are happy that Mugabe has finally seen the light and accepted to resign, this is a good development for our country. We need to unite as Zimbabweans and move away from Mugabe’s politics of dividing people,” said Tatenda Makana who was celebrating in the crowd.
“As Zimbabweans we want all political parties to come together for the good of our country. We are expecting that in few years our country will be back to normal in terms of economic, political and social systems.”
Mugabe outwitted and outlasted so many opponents during his career, who yesterday believe that they had reasons to celebrate his resignation.