Zimbabwe’s military has seized control in an apparent coup, deploying tanks to the streets of the capital Harare, and declaring that 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe was “safe.”
Soldiers on Wednesday took over the headquarters of the state broadcaster ZBC and blocked access to government offices, but the army says this is not a military take over. This is an internal party takeover ‘to refresh the political system, with the army’s support.
The president has ‘technically’ not been deposed. But people are being arrested, the G-40, which is Mugabe’s political faction has been targeted and many have been arrested.
This situation flared up after Mugabe sacked his vice president, a ‘friend of the army’, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Defence Minister, spy chief and veteran of the war of independence.
President Robert Mugabe, who leads the ruling Zanu-PF party, is safe, South African President Jacob Zuma later said Mugabe was confined to his home. Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo among those reportedly arrested.
But as yet, there is no official word from the government or the Mugabe family as to their whereabouts.
The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is “crucial” for Zimbabweans to refrain from violence. Boris is due to take urgent questions on the issue at parliament today, said:
“I think the most important point to make is that everybody wants to see a stable and successful Zimbabwe…..At the moment it’s very fluid and it’s hard to say exactly how this will turn out.”
The situation on the ground is not relatively peaceful at present however some foreign hotel guests in Harare were leaving. However no real panic has set in yet as airports are open as usual.
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