Netizen 24 ZAF: Zimbabwe army has Mugabe, wife in custody, controls capital

Zimbabwe army has Mugabe, wife in custody, controls capital Zimbabwe's MugabePhoto: Reuters facebook print send to friend comment ')...

Zimbabwe army has Mugabe, wife in custody, controls capital

Zimbabwe's MugabePhoto: Reuters
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Zimbabwe's military said it had seized power Wednesday in a targeted assault on "criminals" around President Robert Mugabe who were causing social and economic suffering, but gave assurances the 93-year-old leader and his family were "safe and sound."

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Zimbabwean soldiers and armored vehicles blocked roads to the main government offices, parliament and the courts in central Harare, a witness said.


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"As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy." The military detained Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo on Wednesday, a government source said. Chombo was a leading member of the so-called 'G40' faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party, led by Mugabe's wife Grace, which had been vying to succeed Mugabe. Soldiers deployed across the Zimbabwe capital Harare on Tuesday and seized the state broadcaster after Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party accused the head of the military of treason, prompting frenzied speculation of a coup. Soldiers and APCs were deployed in Harare (Photo: AP)Soldiers and APCs were deployed in Harare Just 24 hours after military chief General Constantino Chiwenga threatened to intervene to end a purge of his allies in Mugabe's ZANU-PF, a reporter saw armored personnel carriers on main roads around the capital. Two hours later, soldiers overran the headquarters of the ZBC, Zimbabwe's state broadcaster and a principal Mugabe mouthpiece, and ordered staff to leave. Several ZBC worker s were manhandled, two members of staff and a human rights activist said. Shortly afterwards, three explosions rocked the center of the southern African nation's capital, witnesses said.  (Photo: AP) Mugabe, the self-styled 'Grand Old Man' of African politics, has led Zimbabwe for the last 37 years.

In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa's most promising states.

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The United States and Britain advised their citizens in Harare to stay indoors because of "political uncertainty." "US citizens in Zimbabwe are encouraged to shelter in place until further notice," the US statement said. The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office statement told "nationals currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer." Major General SB Moyo announced the pseudo-coup on state television (Photo: AP)Major General SB Moyo ann ounced the pseudo-coup on state television The Southern African nation has been on edge since Monday when Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, said he was prepared to "step in" to end a purge of supporters of sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Only a few months ago, Mnangagwa, a former security chief nicknamed "The Crocodile", was favorite to succeed his life-long political patron but was ousted a week ago to pave the way for Mugabe's 52-year-old wife Grace to succeed him.

'Politics over the gun'

Chiwenga's unprecedented statement represented a major escalation of the struggle to succeed Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe's Vice President Mnangagwa (R) was deposed a week ago to clear the way for Mugabe's wife Grace    to succeed him (Photo: Reuters)Mugabe's Vice President Mnangagwa (R) was deposed a week ago to clear the way for Mugabe's wife Grace to succeed him Mugabe chaired a weekly cabinet meeting in the capital on Tuesday, officials said, and afterwards ZANU-PF said it stood by the "primacy of politics over the gun" and accused Chiwenga of "treasonable conduct ... meant to incite insurrection." The previous day, Chiwenga had made clear the army's refusal to accept the removal of Mnangagwaâ€"like the generals a veteran of Zimbabwe's anti-colonial liberation warâ€"and the presumed accession of Grace, once a secretary in the government typing pool.Source: Google News

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Netizen 24 South Africa: Netizen 24 ZAF: Zimbabwe army has Mugabe, wife in custody, controls capital
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