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    An armed soldier patrols a street in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

    'Changes Have Become Imminent': Locals Calmly Await Results of Zimbabwe Unrest

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    Political Upheaval in Zimbabwe (40)

    Sputnik has spoken with the residents of Zimbabwe's capital amid the political upheaval in the country.

    HARARE (Sputnik) – Despite the concerning news reports about a military takeover in Zimbabwe, residents of the country’s capital of Harare continue living their normal lives.

    Interviewed by a Sputnik correspondent, the residents said with some fear in their voices, that they hope for favorable results of the ongoing events, although contemplating the ongoing crisis with a certain indifference.

    Whispering About Situation in the Country

    The Harare residents in general are open and friendly, and not afraid of talking to foreigners. However, when they learn that a journalist wants to have a recorded conversation with them on the situation in the country, they look around cautiously, whispering that they do not want to have problems with the authorities.

    Before expressing her opinion about the current events in the country, a private company employee, who had introduced herself as Gloria, tried to put the heavy burden of communication with the journalist on other bypassers. However, when she realized she would not succeed, Gloria agreed to have a conversation.

    In Gloria’s point of view, the need for changes has emerged in the country long ago, as Zimbabwe was not developing.

    "You know, I am not this kind of person, who you should talk to about politics. However, if you are interested, I believe that the changes have become imminent. The power is concentrated in the hands of a small group of people. Additionally, Mugabe is 93 years old, he is old. I do not want to say that he is a bad person, but someone more modern is needed," Gloria said.

    Asked, what she thinks about the personality of sacked Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who reportedly returned to Harare to head the country’s government, Gloria gave the thumbs up, and smiled.

    READ MORE: Zimbabwe: Mugabe Claims 'Legitimacy,' Army, Opposition Insist on Transition

    A police officer, with whom I have managed to talk to in front of the police station entrance, welcomed me friendly in Zimbabwe, and asked how he could help me. However, as soon as he learned that I was interested in discussing the political situation in the country, he told me to pass by.

    Zimbabwe political turmoil
    © Photo : Arsen Suleimanov
    Zimbabwe political turmoil

    Water as Key to Dialogue

    One of the grim soldiers, patrolling the streets, looked at me from the corners of his eyes and signaled me to come over. As I was approaching him, I was preparing to show the soldier my documents. However, he was not interested in the documents. Instead, he started talking to me about the purpose of my visit to Zimbabwe, and subsequently turned to the pressing issues.

    "Where have you come from? From Russia?!" the soldier said surprisingly. He refused to tell me his name.

    Looking around and holding casually an assault rifle in one of his hands, he got down to business.

    "Do you have any money?" the soldier asked.

    I said I did not, and he seemed to lose his interest in the conversation.

    However, he looked at me with hope in his red eyes, and he smelled of alcohol.

    "Do you have anything to drink?" the soldier asked then.

    He agreed subsequently to answer one question, in exchange for a bottle of water, while his colleague on an armored vehicle was looking another way.

    "We are not allowed to talk to anyone. We are only doing our work here. In general, we do not care about it. Now go," the soldier concluded the short interview.

    However, even such a short conversation allowed me to understand that only the governing elite cared about the political games, while ordinary people were interested in ordinary issues.

    Zimbabwe political turmoil
    © Photo : Arsen Suleimanov
    Zimbabwe political turmoil

    Business as Usual

    This thought came to the Sputnik correspondent again after a talk with a student named Rodni in one of the multiple queues to cash machines.

    "I am not interested at all, what they are doing there. It is their fight. Their business," Rodni said.

    Asked if the queues were a result of the situation around the president, the student answered that the queues were common before the events, and nothing has changed.

    Peace and Quiet

    Nothing in Harare speaks about the takeover, except for some soldiers in the city center.

    Road signs, forbidding passage along a street near one of the government buildings, are ignored by the drivers. The soldiers, looking at this with an indifferent glance, pay no attention to the cars driving by.

    Zimbabwe political turmoil
    © Photo : Arsen Suleimanov
    Zimbabwe political turmoil
    Political Upheaval in Zimbabwe (40)


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