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Live updates: Mugabe agrees to step down as military takes over Zimbabwe, arrest him and his wife

by 15/11/2017 06:19:00 0 comments 1 Views

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'.

Military tank in the city of Harare. Photo source: Associated Press

Military tank in the city of Harare. Photo source: Associated Press

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The army commander claimed to have stepped in to calm political tensions over 93-year-old President Mugabe’s possible successor.

Soldiers take over the streets of Harare to control traffic on Wednesday morning. Photo source: Reuters

Soldiers take over the streets of Harare to control traffic on Wednesday morning. Photo source: Reuters

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.

The Zimbabwean vice president sent on exile returned to the country Wednesday morning. Photo source: Daily Mail

The Zimbabwean vice president sent on exile returned to the country Wednesday morning. Photo source: Daily Mail

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:

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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.

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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.

Live updates: Military takes over Zimbabwe's capital, detains Mugabe, wife and top officials

Kudzai Chipanga, the leader of the Zanu-PF youth wing. Credit: The Herald

“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.

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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.

Live updates: Military takes over Zimbabwe's capital, detains Mugabe, wife and top officials

Youths play soccer in one of the streets of Harare while the army holds down the city centre. Credit: The Herald

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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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