However, protesters have reportedly been discouraged from marching to Mugabe’s resident in the upmarket Borrowdale suburb and a rally will be held at the Zimbabwe Grounds instead.
The mass turnout came after an unprecedented week which saw the army’s top brass seizing power and putting Mugabe under house arrest in response to his sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It was a stunning turnaround for Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since 1980.
Veterans of the liberation war, who had previously supported Mugabe, had called for the gathering which saw marchers rallying in Highfield, a working-class suburb of Harare, with another demonstration staged in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city.
“This is the best day of my life. We are hoping for a new life after Mugabe,” said 38-year-old Sam Sechete who was marching with a crutch.
A symbolic location, Highfield was where Mugabe gave his first speech after returning from exile in Mozambique ahead of independence in 1980.
Demonstrators, who began arriving around midnight, roared, whistled and danced, brandishing placards proclaiming: “Not coup but cool” and “Mugabe must go!”
– African News Agency (ANA) and AFP