Protesters, cheered by onlookers, call for Mugabe ouster

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — To the cheers of onlookers, thousands of students took to the streets Wednesday to call for an end to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s 18 years in power.
The protest was the biggest yet against the 74-year-old Mugabe, the nation’s only leader since independence in 1980. The students marched from their campus to downtown Harare after a High Court judge ordered police to allow the protest. Last week, police prevented students from leaving the campus.
Mugabe, who led the transition from the white minority-dominated state of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1980, has faced mounting opposition in recent months over the nation’s growing economic problems.
Wednesday’s march brought downtown Harare to a standstill for more than two hours. Office workers waved from their windows, onlookers cheered and drivers honked their horns in support of the marchers. There were no reports of violence.
Six people died in food riots in January after prices soared by more than 30 percent.