Thousands of Zimbabweans marched through central Harare on Thursday demanding that 92-year-old leader 'Robert Mugabe' make a "dignified exit."
The largest protest held against President Robert Mugabe in nearly a decade was lead by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai with more than 2,000 supporters carrying anti-Mugabe placards and singing party songs under the watchful eye of riot police.
Anti-government protests have often been brutally broken up by police under the authoritarian regime of the president, who has been in power since independence in 1980.
Mugabe remains active but his increasingly fragile health has sparked intense speculation over his successor and the fate of the country when his rule comes to an end.
Zimbabwe has suffered years of economic collapse and mass emigration during an era marked by intolerance of dissent, vote rigging and accusations of human rights abuses.
"Mugabe has no solution to the crisis," Tsvangirai said in a brief speech to supporters gathered in Africa Unity Square wearing T-shirts in the party's red colours.
"We are here to tell Mugabe and his regime that you have failed.
"We are not demanding an overthrow of the government... We are demanding a dignified exit for the tired Mugabe.
"It's time Mugabe listens to the voice of the people. The people shall liberate themselves."
The march, which had been authorised on Wednesday in a last-minute court ruling, was peaceful, with police on duty in full riot gear armed with batons and water cannon.
- 'Old, clueless Mugabe' -
"This is a demonstration against poverty and corruption," Douglas Mwonzora, an MDC party spokesman, told journalists.
"We have an empty promise of 2.2 million jobs which are not there. We have massive corruption."
The MDC has vowed to hold more protests around the country, which is also beset by severe food shortages worsened by its economic decline since the controversial seizures of white-owned farms since 2000.