With Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi the object of a manhunt by rebels now in charge of Tripoli, Libyan nationals in Zimbabwe, including diplomatic officials, demonstrated at embassy on Wednesday to show their approval of his reversal of fortunes.
Following news Gadhafi’s Tripoli compound was in the hands of rebel forces along with most of the Libyan capital, about 50 Libyans gathered to support the revolution, chanting slogans in Arabic along the general lines of: "Dictator Gadhafi has gone".
Demonstrator Abdul Salam Sweey, who works at Harare's Africa Rehabilitation Institute, told VOA Harare correspondent Thomas Chiripasi that Libya would be renewed with the departure of Gadhafi. Sweey, who claimed to be a liaison officer between ZANU-PF and the Gadhafi administration, said Gadhafi’s days were clearly numbered.
Libyan Embassy First Secretary Ahmed Rabdi also declared himself with the rebels.
Yet another demonstrator, Nahdi Schue, accused Gadhafi of looting Libya's resources during his 42 years in power while most Libyans remained in poverty.
Demonstrators pulled down the official Libyan flag and burned it before raising the new flag of the rebels led by the National Transitional Council. Zimbabwean police posted at the Embassy did not interfere with the demonstrators or call in the riot squad.
Media reports continued to suggest Gadhafi might find asylum in Zimbabwe, though this scenario has been dismissed by Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Joey Bimha.
Some reports said Angola might offer asylum to the fallen dictator.
The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe will not open its doors to Gadhafi. Zimbabwe currently harbors former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, and does not need another dictator on its hands, an MDC spokesman said on Tuesday.
In fact, relations between Harare and Tripoli before the North African revolution were not very good as Harare had not honored its financial obligations to Libya. A US$360-million agreement with Libya's Tamoil state energy firm collapsed after Harare failed to pay.
Harare was unable to supply food products to service the oil deal due to the massive disruption of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector after land reform.
But foreign affairs expert Clifford Mashiri told reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Mugabe may still welcome Gadhafi despite pressure from the West to let the International Criminal Court in the Hague prosecute him for crimes against humanity.