November 18 - Protesters have started to gather at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield in the capital Harare for the planned mass demonstration against embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday. Photo: ANA

Harare - Protesters have started to gather at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield and elsewhere in the capital Harare for the planned mass demonstration against embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday.

Thousands were expected to ascend on the country's capital, Harare, on Saturday morning calling for leadership that will "relieve the suffering endured" by the nation under President Robert Mugabe.

In a surprise move on Friday, the controlling Zimbabwean military announced that it would would allow a mass march.

However, protesters have been discouraged from marching alone to Mugabe's residence in the upmarket Borrowdale suburb.

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Zimbabwe's #ThisFlag leader pastor Evan Mawarire said he had heard people were "gathering at Racecourse and march to State House".

"I really think that that may not be a good idea because their numbers may not be big enough and they may not be allowed to go there. I want to encourage that if people are coming from the Borrowdale area, unfortunately they are going to have to make their way into town to Fourth Street... where everyone will leave from there to head out to go to State House. I would not encourage people to go on their own," Mawarire said.