HARARE (Sputnik) – Zimbabwe's army has reportedly stopped a crowd marching on President Robert Mugabe's home as a "Solidarity March" is underway in the country’s capital of Harare, with up to 5,000 people participating in the rally.
Participants of the march in support of Zimbabwe’s military in Harare have gathered at a stadium in the southwestern Highfield suburb of the country’s capital before joining a new group of demonstrators to head of the residence of Mugabe, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
#Zimbabwe Harare thousands march on State House calling for president mugabe to resign.. Army prevent them getting close— Evelyn Tremble (@DrumChronicles) 18 ноября 2017 г.
Several trucks carrying military servicemen have already arrived at the stadium area.
Army tank escorts Zimbabweans protesting in Harare. This is so beautiful. pic.twitter.com/fQUoYNTDfg— ubuntugraphy.com🇿🇼 (@ubuntugraphy) 18 ноября 2017 г.
The march has been peaceful, with police previously not taking action to disrupt the rally and the participants proceeding without any public order violations.
Local residents, driving cars, have been honking their car horns, while pedestrians participating in the march are waving the country’s flags, singing songs and greeting each other, according to a Sputnik correspondent.
March participants reached a park named after Mugabe and paused, chanting "Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe." Members of the military addressed the rally via a megaphone. The march subsequently headed to Mugabe’s residence.
According to a Sputnik correspondent, both black and white Zimbabweans are participating in the rally. Recently graduated students, wearing their graduation gowns, also came to support the military.
ZIMBABWE: Tens of thousands gathered in Zimbabwe's capital Harare for a day of protests to demand the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.#FreshStart #MyNewZimbabwe #SolidarityMarch #ThisFlag #ZimCoupMarch #Zimbabwe #Mugabe pic.twitter.com/4ZsUNKAlb9— The African Voice (@teddyeugene) 18 ноября 2017 г.
Some military patrols and armored vehicles have been seen on the city streets, with the area near government buildings being blocked.
The march comes a day after Zimbabwe's ruling party Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) called on the country's president to resign. Meanwhile, Mugabe made his first public appearance since the beginning of the events, arriving at the Zimbabwe Open University for a graduation ceremony.
Earlier in the week, the military in Zimbabwe deployed armored vehicles to Harare, confining President Robert Mugabe, 93, who has been leading the country for almost 40 years to his house. Zimbabwe Defense Forces spokesman Maj. Gen. Sibusiso Moyo said in a televised address that the military action was aimed not against the president, but rather at protecting the nation from "criminals" in Mugabe's government.