Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Zimbabwe President, Wife In Custody As Military Takes Control of Capital

Zimbabwe President, Wife In Custody As Military Takes Control of Capital

Zimbabwe's military read out a statement on national TV after seizing the national broadcaster ZBC, claiming the army was "targeting criminals" and was not staging a "military takeover of government." .

There were reports of multiple explosions in the city and a heavy presence of armed soldiers in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time.

Some staff at ZBC, the national broadcaster, were manhandled when soldiers took over their offices in Harare late on Tuesday evening, sources told Reuters.

He said Mr. Mugabe and his family were "safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed".

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

In response to the conference, Mugabe's political party accused Chiwenga of "treasonable conduct".

"The main indicator of a broader outbreak of violence would be the reaction of the Presidential Guard, which remains loyal to President Mugabe".

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

Last month, Mugabe warned of a possible coup plot, saying allies of Mnangagwa were threatening the lives of those who didn't support him.

Soldiers in a military vehicle control traffic in central Harare
Image Soldiers in a military vehicle control traffic in central Harare

News24's Adriaan Basson said verified reports confirm that Mugabe has negotiated for Grace to leave the country while he prepares to step down.

The leader of Zanu-PF's youth wing, Kudzai Chipanga, told reporters: "It is our country and future at stake and we will not let any individual military man interfere with the leader of the party and legitimately voted president of this country".

The United States embassy in Harare said it would not open on Wednesday "due to uncertainty" and urged its citizens to "shelter in place".

Mugabe went as far as attacking or killing some of the opposition party, this led to an outburst from his public supporters which led to bloodshed in the country again.

However, just a week after Mugabe, 93, fired longtime vice president and liberation war veteran Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of disloyalty and disrespect, an account purporting to belong to the ruling ZANU PF party tweeted that Mnangagwa had been installed as the party's interim president.

Grace Mugabe's rise has brought her into conflict with the independence-era war veterans, who once enjoyed a privileged role in the ruling party under Mugabe, but who have in recent years been banished from senior government and party roles.

It appears the trigger of the army action was the sacking last week of Mr Mugabe's once loyal deputy, Vice-President Mnangagwa.

While Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe haven't responded directly to Chiwenga's remarks, the Zanu-PF Youth League, a key ally of Grace Mugabe, slammed what they said was overreach by the military into political issues.

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