Military takes control in Zimbabwe; detains Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s military has taken power in the southern African nation, detaining top officials in an apparent coup.

But the military denied it was a coup, instead saying it was targeting “criminals” around long-ruling President Robert Mugabe.

The military said 93-year-old Mr. Mugabe, the world’s oldest leader, was “safe and sound”, alongside is family, Reuters news agency reported Wednesday.

The army had on Monday warned it could “step in” and would not tolerate purges in the ruling ZANU-PF that had seen Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired.

The party responded on Tuesday by accusing army chief Constantino Chinwenga, a general, of “treasonable conduct” and vowing not to succumb to military threats.

Late Tuesday, armoured tanks took position in the capital, and there were sounds of gunfire in the capital Harare early Wednesday but the military asked residents to be calm.

Soldiers quickly seized the state broadcaster, ZBC, manhandled its staff and read out a statement announcing its plans, Reuters reported.

The statement, read by Sibusiso Moyo, a major general and Chief of Staff Logistics, denied the action was a “military takeover of government” and assured “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 him who are committing crimes… that are causing social and economic suffering in the country. As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy,” the military said.

Reports say senior government officials, which the military referred to as “criminals”, were detained, and Reuters quoted a source as confirming Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo was among those taken into custody.

Mr. Chombo is a prominent member of a faction of the ZANU-PF party supporting Mr. Mugabe’s wife, Grace’s bid to succeed her husband.

The statement ordered all military personnel on leave to return to barracks immediately, and advised all security services to cooperate, threatening any provocation with “appropriate response”.


About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298, 08056381068.

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