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Photographer Details the Experience of Documenting Mugabe’s Impeachment

“The atmosphere was very strange.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, those are the choice words used by Zimbabwean photographer Jekesai Njikizana.

In an interview with Washington Post, Njikizana, who works for Agence France-Presse in Harare, has detailed how he “felt the mood change” as Zimbabwe’s parliamentary members began to gather on November 21st with just one topic of discussion: the impeachment of President Robert Mugabe.

When the parliamentarians began their impeachment process, they were saying things about Mugabe that hadn't been said in public in this country for more than a generation.

In an interview, Njikizana described the moment everyone in the room realized something big was happening. The speaker of the meeting with Mugabe’s ruling party members, Jacob Mudenda, called a halt to proceedings as he was handed a letter. “That's when I became alert to the tension in the air,” Njikizana said.

The facial expressions of those reading the letter told Nijikizana that Mugabe had resigned. Of his requirements as the photographer, he said he “had no time for emotions,” as he was responsible for capturing everyone else's. Many of his photos show the celebration of those rising from their chairs – some even standing on desks – in joy at the result.

View Nijikizana’s portfolio documenting the days surrounding Mugabe’s impeachment at the Washington Post website.

[via Washington Post]

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1 Comment

Simon Patterson's picture

It reminds me of the quote from Revenge of the Sith, "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause". Not that they had a great deal of liberty anyway, but they've replaced Mugabe, who ordered the political violence, with Mnangagwa, who actually carried it out. Mnangagwa's nickname is "The Crocodile" for good reason.

So these images are probably a record of the day Zimbabwe jumped out of the frying pan into the fire...