Zimbabwe crisis: Soldiers 'take over broadcaster ZBC'

15 November, 2017, 11:31 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Harare's residents have largely ignored the military presence on the streets and continued commuting socialising and working much as normal while analysts speculated that Mugabe and the army could be negotiating a transition

The world awoke on Wednesday to reports of military vehicles driving through the capital as well as gunshots and explosions.

Zimbabwe's envoy to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, also dismissed talks of a coup, saying the government was "intact", the BBC said.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Major General SB Moyo makes an announcement on state broadcaster ZBC, in this still image taken from a November 15, 2017 video.

In his statement on ZBC this morning, Moyo said: "We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president. and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed".

"We are only targeting criminals around who him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice".

He added that things will return to normal as soon as the mission is accomplished.

The Army last night announced that they had taken over government business, with the intension of dealing with President Mugabe's ministers who were misleading the aged leader.

Many had expected Grace Mugabe to be appointed vice president in Mnangagwa's place at the Zanu-PF special congress next month.

The statement from the ZANU-PF party was released amid worries that the military might be taking action to oust Mugabe.

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This prompted the head of the army, General Constantino Chiwenga, a supporter of Mnangagwa, to appear beside 90 other senior officers and demand an end to the purges within the ruling party.

Reports emerged on 15 November 2017 that Mugabe had been seized and placed under house arrest by the Zimbabwean military.

It was not immediately clear whether the takeover amounted to a purge or a putsch - simply getting rid of some members of the government or toppling Mugabe, 93, altogether.

But the Zanu-PF party said Chiwenga's comments were meant to "incite insurrection" and that it "reaffirms the primacy of politics over the gun" and accused him of "treasonable conduct".

A long-running political struggle over who will succeed Mugabe, who has been in power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980, has been slowly escalating. The veteran of the country's 1970s liberation war was popular with the military and had been seen as a likely successor to Mugabe.

Despite an often abrasive manner, Grace Mugabe's commanding presence and charity work have won support from some Zimbabweans.

Both the USA and British embassies in Zimbabwe have advised their nationals to stay indoors because of what they call the 'uncertain situation'.

In a message posted on its website, Global Affairs Canada said the "situation is tense" in the city due to increased military activity and advised Canadians there to "remain indoors and monitor the media".

The move is being speculated as a military coup against President Robert Mugabe, reported the Sputnik.

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