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Thousands Of Zimbabweans Are Marching In The Streets, Calling For Mugabe To Resign

Any hopes the 93-year-old ruler had of clinging to power appear to be waning as thousands of Zimbabweans take to the streets pushing for him to step down.

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Robert Mugabe’s political party organized a rally to push for his resignation, and Zimbabweans have shown up in droves to support the call, setting aside their cautious optimism about the end of the 93-year-old president’s rule and taking to the streets.

People gathered in cities across the country waving flags — which the government had banned last year — and reciting chants for an end to the leader’s 37-year reign.

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“I will tell my kids we are the ones who removed Mugabe after 37 years,” one marcher said at a protest in Bulawayo, the nation's second-largest city.

The march was fueled by a joyous and celebratory energy in what many are saying is the biggest public display of disregard for Mugabe they had ever seen.

Incredible scenes in central Harare right now

#Zimbabwe I feel so happy the people of Zimbabwe. #SolidarityMarch

By Saturday afternoon, the crowds in Harare had grown so large that people were being turned away from the stadium where the march is expected to converge.

The coolest coup in the history of the world, army tankers being celebrated like mad. Peaceful yet so powerful,… https://t.co/uaGZZNs3Tl

Keshor Chitambira told BuzzFeed News in a WhatsApp message from Harare that the outpouring of people at the march made him feel "very happy and hopeful."

Photo courtesy of Keshor Chitambira

He decided to attend the rally so that he could "really feel the winds of change," adding that he "hopes the old man steps down peacefully and we are able to get back to normalcy."

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One marcher in Bulawayo said the fact that Mugabe's own party organized this rally was proof that it was time for the president to concede.

Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, It’s on to push Mugabe OUT #Mugabe #Mnangagwa #Zimbabwe #Zimbabwecoup .. Army tankers escort… https://t.co/GgDHUHEkPP

"What makes this a piece of history is that this march would never have been possible without ZANU-PF supporters taking part," he said, adding that he had witnessed no violence throughout the day. "That's a first."

Zimbabwe’s political future has been hanging in the balance this past week. The military on Wednesday placed Mugabe under house arrest after he abruptly fired the vice president, and began summarily arresting people around him who were accused of having committed crimes.

I never thought I would see this day! I am so emotional, so proud! #Zimbabwe the world was never ready for us!

Armed forces have not labeled the intervention a coup, but many believe the move signals the beginning of change in the country.

Many Zimbabweans have praised the military for standing up to Mugabe’s purge. At Saturday's march, many begged soldiers for selfies.

More sights & scenes in support of the Zimbabwe military and against Mugabe & SADC intervention. #Zimbabwe

"The people have spoken. I feel so good," said one marcher in Bulawayo.

Today is not about colour, class or creed. Zimbabweans are united with a common cause! Freedom for #Zimbabwe… https://t.co/o25FevEJaj

A reporter in Bulawayo, whose name has been withheld for their safety due to the current security situation, contributed to this report.

Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.

Contact Tamerra Griffin at tamerra.griffin@buzzfeed.com.

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