A man reads a newspaper as residents queue to draw money at a bank in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: REUTERS/PHILIMON BULAWAYO
A man reads a newspaper as residents queue to draw money at a bank in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: REUTERS/PHILIMON BULAWAYO

Harare — On Friday, the leader of Zimbabwe’s war veterans association, an influential voice in national politics, said President Robert Mugabe must step down at once and urged people to protest against the veteran leader.

Christopher Mutsvangwa told a press conference the "game was up" for Mugabe and his wife Grace. He called for a huge turnout at street protests planned for Saturday in Harare.

"The generals have done a fantastic job. It’s done, it’s finished," he said. "We want to restore our pride and tomorrow is the day ... we can finish the job which the army started. There’s no going back about Mugabe. He must leave."

Veterans of Zimbabwe’s independence war were loyal supporters of Mugabe, but they turned against him as friction grew between the president and the military.

Mugabe attended a university graduation ceremony on Friday, making a defiant first public appearance since the military takeover that appeared to signal the end of his 37-year reign.

The generals took over late on Tuesday after vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa was abruptly sacked and Mugabe’s wife Grace emerged in a prime position to succeed her increasingly frail husband.

AFP

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