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Ex-pats in Ipswich meet up to herald the end of Mugabe's repression

PUBLISHED: 16:32 18 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:46 19 November 2017

Zimbabweans gather to welcome the changes in their homeland. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Zimbabweans gather to welcome the changes in their homeland. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Zimbabweans living in Ipswich have gathered on the town's Waterfront to show solidarity with their homeland where citizens took to the streets to tell President Robert Mugabe to quit peacefully.

Manyara Walker, Christie Hendry and Clare Wilson welcome the changes in Zimbabwe. Picture: PAUL GEATERManyara Walker, Christie Hendry and Clare Wilson welcome the changes in Zimbabwe. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The group gathered outside the main building of the University of Suffolk while tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare to demand the resignation of the 93-year-old dictator.

The impomptu gathering happened after Clare Wilson, who has lived in Ipswich for 20 years, used social media to contact other members of the community.

She said: “This isn’t a protest or a demonstration. I just thought it would be good if we came together to mark what is happening in our country – it is truly historic.”

There are a few dozen people from Zimbabwe living in Ipswich – and while they have been able to return home to see their families, they have seen a country declining and gripped by fear.

Manyara Walker has lived in Ipswich for 16 years and said she was very happy to see the end of Mugabe’s rule: “He is a horrible man and his wife is worse!”

Christie Hendry said the country had been impoverished by Mugabe’s regime – but she hoped that if democracy was established some of those who had gone into exile would return and could turn it into a better place for everyone.

She said: “Zimbabwe is a beautiful country and we really hope there is a chance now for it to flourish.”

Zimbabweans around the world were showing their support for the peaceful revolution that was sweeping Mugabe from power.

Scores of people sang and danced in the rain outside Zimbabwe House on The Strand in central London in Saturday as they celebrated what they termed “our Independence Day”.

Thousands of people are marching in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare to demand the removal of Robert Mugabe from power after nearly four decades.

The euphoric crowds, including people of all races, hope the turnout will speed up the official end of Mr Mugabe’s rule, which is widely blamed for the collapse of an economy that was once one of Africa’s wealthiest.

The 93-year-old is virtually powerless and has been deserted by most of his allies after Zimbabwe’s generals placed him under house arrest, while talks on his exit from office unfold.

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