Protesters take to streets of Harare as Mugabe refuses to step down

World Today

APTOPIX Zimbabwe Political TurmoilA crowd of thousands of protesters demanding President Robert Mugabe stand down gather in front of an army cordon on the road leading to State House in Harare, Zimbabwe Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. In a euphoric gathering that just days ago would have drawn a police crackdown, crowds marched through Zimbabwe’s capital on Saturday to demand the departure of President Robert Mugabe, one of Africa’s last remaining liberation leaders, after nearly four decades in power. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

A second round of talks between embattled Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and the army are set to take place Sunday. Mugabe refuses to step down, but plans for the future – and his ouster – are taking place.

CGTN’s Farai Mwakutuya reports from the capital.

After three days on edge, Harare finally got its release. People took to the streets cheering, dancing, and toasting their new heroes in the army.

A crowd this big was last seen when Zimbabwe gained independence and welcomed Robert Mugabe into power. But on Saturday, many said goodbye to the president.

The country’s leader has refused to step down despite a Southern African Development Community-led mediation effort and mounting calls for him to do so.

Placards denouncing the previously revered leader waved as people gathered to give him a final push. The unprecedented protest is seen as the turning point for a country that’s been dogged by political and economic instability for more than a decade.

“Zimbabwe is breaking with the past,” according to Professor and former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. “We are shaping a new future, a new Zimbabwe.”

He went to say that citizens united in the belief that Mugabe must go.

The president’s ZANU-PF party has already begun a process to recall him as its leader.

Abayomi Azikiwe discusses Zimbabwe turmoil and Mugabe’s future

People took to the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe on Saturday, demanding the removal of President Robert Mugabe. The leader has so far refused to step aside, even after the military set the process in motion by placing him house arrest. Talks between the leader and military officials are expected on Sunday. Abayomi Azikiwe, editor-and-chief of the Pan-African News Wire, discusses with CGTN’s Susan Roberts.