The Zimbabwean military has taken over the country's capital, Harare, and no less than three explosions were reported in the city by morning of Wednesday, November 15.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife have reportedly been detained by the military in a 'bloodless transition' of power - and the country's deposed vice-president has returned from exile.
Army boss, Major Gen SB Moyo, President Mugabe and family are safe but army is ‘targeting criminals around him'.
The army commander claimed to have stepped in to calm political tensions over 93-year-old President Mugabe’s possible successor.
The ruling party has however accused the commander of “treasonable conduct", according to a report by New York Post.
The U.S. Embassy has since issued a warning encouraging citizens to seek shelter indoors ad avoid the political unrest on the street.
There were reports on Wednesday morning that some armed soldiers were assaulting passers-by in the early morning hours in Harare, as well as soldiers loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles.
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Three explosions could be heard near the University of Zimbabwe campus.
Watch the army broadcast below:
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that the Zimbabwe’s army chief, General Constantino Chiwenga on Monday, November 13, warned President Robert Mugabe to end the purge in the country’s ruling Zanu-PF party or the military will step in, BBC reports.
This came a week after Mugabe fired his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move widely seen as meant to clear the path for his wife, Grace, as his likely successor.
The United States embassy in Zimbabwe has issued an alert to the public that it would shut down activities early following the uncertainty that has taken over the country. In a Twitter message too, the British government urged its citizens in the country to stay indoors and avoid becoming victims.
NAIJ.com brings you live updates as events unfold:
The Amnesty International says it is more interested in the safety and security of all people in Zimbabwe, a statement from the international body, signed by Deprose Muchena, its regional director for Southern Africa, has said.
The organisation pleaded with the military to refrain from any action that puts lives and human rights at risk.
“Military officials must uphold human rights, including the right to liberty, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
“The free flow of information - through the media and social media - must be guaranteed.
“The military takeover should not be used as an excuse to undermine Zimbabwe’s international and regional human rights obligations and commitments,” the statement read.
Zimbabwe’s MDC opposition party, according to the CNN, says President Mugabe’s government was an accident waiting to happen.
The report quoted Obert Gutu, the party spokesperson, as saying the MDC had often told the world that the system was not sustainable system. “We haven’t heard of any looting. We haven’t heard of any bloodshed … or anybody being killed. “Whatever is going to happen, let us respect human life,” he said.
UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has said his country cannot tell if this is the end of power for Robert Mugabe.
CNN quotes him as criticizing Mugabe for rigging elections as well as high-handedness in the way he handled the affairs of the country
"We do not know whether this marks the downfall of Mugabe or not, and we call for calm and restraint.
“All Britain has ever wanted for Zimbabweans is to be able to decide their own future in free and fair elections.
“Mugabe’s consuming ambition was always to deny them that choice, and this House will remember the brutal litany of his 37 years in office. The elections he rigged and stole, the murder and torture of his opponents, the illegal seizure of land, leading to the worst hyper-inflation in recorded history measured in the billions of percentage points, and forcing the abolition of the Zimbabwean dollar.”
A video currently trending has shown that Nigerian prophet, Temitope B Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) had predicted the coup in Zimbabwe. In the video, TB Joshua could be seen stating that there was a plan to run down the headquarters of a Southern African nation.
The undated video with the title: Is this a prophesy on Mugabe's death by Military? is currently spreading in Zimbabwe and has the prophet repeating that there as a plan to get rid of a president in a region of Southern Africa.
"The military are interested in embarrassing a President - either they kill him or kidnap him. They are still having that plan to kidnap either a President or vice-president of that nation or the first lady of that nation," he said in the video.
He noted that this would cause uproar, adding that even though he knows the country, he would not want to mention it.
A fresh report from the troubled Zimbabwe indicates that President Robert Mugabe may have succeeded in negotiating with the country’s military for his wife to leave for neighbouring South Africa in return for his giving up power, possibly on Friday, November 16.
The Bulawayo24 quotes a security source as telling the African News Agency Mugabe, 93, will announce his departure from power at a press conference.
However, Sky News reports that Grace Mugabe fled to Namibia.
"Mugabe has negotiated for Grace to leave the country while he prepares to step down. Press conference tomorrow afternoon. Soldiers indeed have the president and his presidential guard under siege. Zimbabweans are urged to stay away from the CBD tomorrow," the source said.
A new report by Zimbabwean IOL News states that the country’s army has taken over a paramilitary police support unit depot in Harare. The soldiers have also succeeded in disarming the police officers there. The report adds that the military is now in charge of the country’s amoury.
It quoted a source as telling Reuters: “They are now in charge of all armoury, all gates and roads leading in or out of the camp. Arcturus Road (which leads to the camp) is closed and all Support Unit details with guns have been disarmed.”
The Namibian government has said it is closely following the events in Zimbabwe. The country released a statement saying its officials are monitoring the developments, stating that the situation is relatively calm.
Namibia however expressed fear concerning the possible repercussions the crisis in Zimbabwe could have for the region, especially if it escalates. “Namibia is concerned that the present situation in Zimbabwe creates uncertainty that is not conducive to peace, stability and consolidation of democracy in Zimbabwe and the region as a whole,” CNN quotes the government as saying.
The UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is difficult to see how the crisis in Zimbabwe would end describing the situation as ‘very fluid’.
CNN quoted him as saying: “It is hard to say how this will turnout”. He added that everyone “wants to see a stable and successful Zimbabwe.”
A photograph showing Zimbabwe's soldiers forcing police officers to sit on the ground has emerged.
Zanu-PF youth wing says its members would not fold their arms and watch the army take over the country from a duly elected president.
“AS the youth of Zimbabwe and as the young people whose future will be determined by the actions taken in the present, we have noted with shock, displeasure and disappointment the press statement of thec commander of the defence forces, General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga, issued yesterday.
“We, as Zanu-PF Youth League, are a lion which has awakened and found its voice, therefore we will not sit idly and fold our hands whilst cheap potshots and threats are made against the legitimate and popularly elected leader of the revolutionary party Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe, His Excellency, head of state and government and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
“This statement is therefore issued without regret, fear or compunction. Defending the revolution and our leader and president is an ideal we live for and if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for.
“From the outset we would like to make it clear that we have every respect for the armed forces in this country and cherish their role in protecting and safeguarding the country and its revolution,” part of the lengthy statement said.
The Herald of Zimbabwe is reporting that the country’s National Liberation War Veterans Association have applauded the role taken by the defence forces to normalise the situation in Zanu-PF and the country. The organisation wants the Zanu-PF to return to constitutionalism and reverse all the expulsions and suspensions that were spearheaded by the G40 cabal.
The ZNLWA also wants Mugabe to be recalled as the first secretary and president of Zimbabwe.
__________________________________________________________________________________South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has joined African leaders speaking about the military take-over in Zimbabwe. Zuma believes that there cannot be unconstitutional change of government in Zimbabwe.
Speaking on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, Zuma therefore called on the army and the government to resolve their differences amicably. He also said the organisation was ready to help the country resolve its crisis.
Even though the world is watching in apprehension, Zimbabwe's military denies any coup is going on.
The United Nations has warned its personnel in Zimbabwe work from home. This is as some schools were closed and some students failed to sit for their final examinations, including at the University of Zimbabwe. Officials at the president’s department have now been sent packing from the departures desk at the recently renamed Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and replaced by soldiers.
The chief of staff (quarter-master) in the Zimbabwe National Army, Sibusiso Moyo, appeared on state television early Wednesday morning saying the position taken by the military since the statement made by Zimbabwe’s Defence Forces commander, Constantino Chiwenga, Monday had reached ‘another level’.
“Firstly we wish want to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces 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 in order to bring them to justice,” he said.
Reports say Zimbabwe’s parliament building has been taken over by the military with helicopters circling the city centre. At the moment, the country’s police is not visible in the streets. Some of the cabinet ministers including the one in charge of finance, loyal to Grace Mugabe, and some top ruling Zanu-PF officials have been arrested.
The CNN reports that President Mugabe and his family are safe even though tanks have overtaken the country’s capital. "To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government," Major Geneneral SB Moyo said in a televised statement.
But the report quotes Alex Magaisa, a former political aide to ex-Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, as saying: "This is a coup by any other name. They might be trying to give a fig leaf to the notion that President Mugabe is still the leader. But de facto they are obviously the military force."
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is calling for calm in Zimbabwe as the country’s military takes over its government. Buhari wants the military to recognise the country’s constitution.
Buhari, who urged urged all political and military stakeholders in Zimbabwe to avoid any action that could plunge the country into unnecessary conflict and impact negatively on the region, added: “Every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability.”
The BBC is reporting that claims from Zimbabwe in the afternoon of Wednesday, November 15, indicate that Robert Mugabe has negotiated for Grace, his wife, to leave the country while he prepares to step down. There is confirmation that the president and his guard are currently under siege
The report also said Zimbabweans are urged to stay away from the Central Business District until further notice.
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