After a night of unrest in the Capital of Zimbabwe – Harare, a day after the head of the armed forces had threatened to take action as a result of the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the army has regained control of the situation and asked citizens to remain calm. The sacking of the vice president was seen by some section of the populace as an act by Robert Mugabe to hand over power to his wife.
At least three explosions were heard in the capital overnight, and military vehicles were seen in the streets. The US Embassy has hence closed to the public this morning and encouraged its citizens to shelter in place, citing “the ongoing political uncertainty through the night.”
The British Embassy has also issued a similar warning to its citizens, relating to “reports of unusual military activity.”
Zimbabwe’s military says it has seized power to target “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, who it said to be “safe and sound” in custody with his wife. This was made known in a statement released by the spokesperson for Zimbabwe Defense forces-Major General SB moyo.
The army said it was securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets, after a night which included a military takeover of the state broadcaster. The action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military’s supporters praised it as a “bloodless correction”.
A correspondent to The Guradian in Harare quoted an official, who remained anonymous for fear of losing his job, saying ” The people in Zimbabwe are excited because they are ready for change. I don’t think the action will get violent because they are doing this for the people. If they start shedding blood, then they can’t do that any more. That is why they told people to stay away from the centre of town unless they have business, so troublemakers cannot stir things up,” he said.
The South African president, Jacob Zuma, who spoke on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), expressed his concern to the situation in Zimbabwe, calling for it to be resolved in a peaceful manner. He expressed hope and urged citizens to remain calm and exercise restraint and that there will be no coup in Zimbabwe. A coup in Zimbabwe would be in direct conflict with the positions of SADC and the African Union and they would monitor the situation and position themselves ready position to help resolve it.
According to the South African President, he stated that he spoke to Robert Mugabe who told him he was fine and ok but under the confinement of his home.
More updates to come your way.
Source: independent.co.uk & theguardian.com