Thousands of Zimbabweans flooded the streets of Harare on Saturday, waving national flags, singing and dancing in an outpouring of elation at the expected fall of President Robert Mugabe.
“These are tears of joy,” Frank Mutsindikwa, 34, told Reuters, holding aloft the Zimbabwean flag.
“I’ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.”
The military intervention, which political sources say could pave the way to a national unity government after 37 years of Mugabe rule, also presented “an opportunity to put Zimbabwe on a path to peace and prosperity”, Khama told Reuters.
“I don’t think anyone should be President for that amount of time. We are Presidents, we are not monarchs. It’s just common sense,” Khama said.
Earlier, Mugabe arrived at a university graduation ceremony in the capital on Friday, his first public appearance since a military seizure of power that political sources say is aimed at ending his 37 years in office.
Mugabe, who is 93, opened a graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University in Harare.
He wore blue and yellow academic robes and a mortar board hat and appeared to fall asleep in his chair as his eyes closed and his head lolled.
Mugabe led the country’s liberation struggle and has dominated its politics since independence in 1980.
He said he is still in charge but a senior member of the ZANU-PF ruling party said it wanted him gone.
“If he becomes stubborn, we will arrange for him to be fired on Sunday,” the source said. “When that is done, it’s impeachment on Tuesday.”
In contrast, the military said in a statement on national television it was “engaging” with Mugabe. It referred to him as Commander in Chief and said it would announce an outcome as soon as possible.