Zimbabwe-born Perth residents celebrate resignation of Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe-born people gathered in Perth on Saturday with flags to support the campaign for change.

Zimbabwe-born people gathered in Perth on Saturday with flags to support the campaign for change.
Zimbabwe-born people gathered in Perth on Saturday with flags to support the campaign for change. Zimbabwe-born people gathered in Perth on Saturday with flags to support the campaign for change.

MOBILE phones and national flags were the weapons of choice for Zimbabweans campaigning for political change both in the country and abroad.

Zimbabwe-born people living in Perth celebrated news overnight that Robert Mugabe (93) resigned as president, after 37 years in power.

For many, including Landsdale resident Himal Doolabh (32) and Forrestfield’s Michael Taremba (32), Mr Mugabe was the country’s only leader they had known.

Mr Doolabh said he was overjoyed and there was excitement among people in the African country and diaspora scattered around the world.

“I never expected it to come,” he said.

“I grew up with him as president – it was definitely time for a change.

“It’s a second independence; a new era.”

The army took control last week after vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa was sacked and people had gathered en masse for peaceful marches in Zimbabwean cities and overseas, including Perth, on Saturday.

“Watching the videos, I would have loved to be back there and experience that,” Mr Doolabh said.

Mr Taremba said there was excitement with a feeling of cautiousness about what lies ahead as the country recovers from the “doldrums”.

“It was all non-violent,” he said, commending the way people maintained peace.

Mr Mugabe’s resignation letter was read out in parliament shortly after the ruling party ZANU-PF started an impeachment process on Tuesday.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the resignation opened “a new trajectory for the country” where he hoped people would be respected and the rule of law upheld.

Mr Tsvangirai said that should include a transitional government in the lead up to the next elections.

Mr Doolabh said prior to the resignation, people had not known how the situation would end.

“Everyone has still been going about their business – there’s been no sense of a military coup,” he said.

“Where it’s going to be interesting now is how we go forwards; we don’t want to see it going back to something similar.”

Mr Taremba said the change would allow investment to take place and restore business confidence.

“It’s going to be for the betterment of one and all in terms of the economy,” he said.

“It was getting too difficult tying to sustain yourself in a barter-type system.”

Both regularly visit relatives and friends still in Zimbabwe and said they expected to see change when they next return.

Mr Taremba said the change would lead to a better outcome “not just for the current generation but for generations to come”.

Zimbabwe-born people living in Perth are planning to celebrate this weekend.

Mr Mugabe had led the country since white-minority rule in the former Rhodesia ended in 1980.

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