Robert Mugabe, 93, and his family have been detained and ‘confined to his home’ after Zimbabwe’s military stormed TV studios to broadcast message, about staging ‘bloodless correction’
Mugabe likely to be forced to hand power to sacked vice president Emmerson ‘Crocodile’ Mnangagwa, 75, in a few weeks
First lady, 52-year-old Grace Mugabe, who seemed to have gained momentum in the succession jostle last week, forcing the sacking of Mnangagwa allegedly, fled to Namibia last night
Mnangagwa, sacked by Robert Mugabe last week, has returned from exile
Tanks and soldiers seen on the streets of the capital Harare and loud explosions were heard in the city centre, armoured vehicles were seen patrolling the streets, expatriate community advised to stay indoors
Armed forces head Constantino Chiwenga, openly threatened to intervene in politics if Mugabe did not desist from removing veterans from government, a day earlier
Grace Mugabe, 52, had positioned herself as the most likely to succeed her 93-year-old husband. The military intervention has put paid to those ambitions as she has now fled Zimbabwe
Tensions over succession in the African nation of Zimbabwe boiled over early Wednesday, as bringing to a near certain end the long dictatorship of president Robert Mugabe, 93, with a surprise military coup which has already seen Mugabe’s handpicked successor, First Lady Grace Mugabe fleeing to neighboring Namibia.
Overnight, at least three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets. By morning armed soldiers were seen at checkpoints on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe’s office in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Mugabe’s savage 37-year rule over Zimbabwe was dominated by murder, bloodshed, torture, persecution of political opponents, intimidation and vote-rigging on a grand scale.
The struggle over the succession of Mugabe, recently erupted into the open, and had pitched the 52-year-old First Lady Grace Mugabe, against one of the architects of an independent Zimbabwe, the now-sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In the latest development Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe, sources said is likely to be forced to hand power to his sacked vice president in a few weeks to make today’s coup appear legal.
The dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, once seen as likely successor to Zimbabwe’s president,was seen as paving the way for Grace Mugabe to take over
The 93-year-old’s grip on the country appears over after he was detained in his own home when the military seized control in what it described as a ‘bloodless correction’ overnight.
His wife, dubbed Gucci Grace for her love of shopping, is believed to have fled to Namibia having been allowed to leave the country Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, deposed vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars who was sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, is believed to have returned from exile.
The dismissal of Mnangagwa, nicknamed the Crocodile, had left Grace Mugabe in pole position to succeed her husband as the next president, a political sleight of hand strongly opposed by senior ranks in the military.
No coup: Zimbabwe military storms TV studios to broadcast message last night to declare they staged a ‘bloodless intervention’, rather than a coup
First Lady Grace Mugabe, [photo left, with her husband], has been seen as THE successor to her husband after she maneuvered to have her main opposition chased out of the power structure
Deposed vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa [dark blue suit], is aeen making a return, barely a week after he was forced into exile by Mugabe’s government.
Armed military presence on the streets of Zimbabwe capital Harare, A military tank is seen with armed soldiers on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe’s office
There were reports today that police were being beaten by soldiers in Harare’s central business district while a picture on social media appears to show officers sitting in a line with troops guarding them.
Last night, Zimbabwe’s military stormed the country’s national broadcaster’s studios to declare it is ‘targeting criminals’.
Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, a leading member of the so-called ‘G40’ faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party led by Mugabe’s wife Grace, had also been detained by the military, a government source said.
The EU this morning called for a ‘peaceful resolution’ and described the crisis ‘a matter of concern’ for the bloc. Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed for ‘everybody to refrain from violence’.
‘We cannot tell how developments in Zimbabwe will play out in the days ahead and we do not know whether this marks the downfall of Mugabe or not,’ Mr Johnson told the British parliament.
The former vice president claps after being presented with a fake crocodile a throwback to his nickname
Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa with his wife Auxilia at a public function early in 2017.
Soldiers stormed the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC in the early hours of Wednesday, two members of staff and a human rights worker told Reuters, as staff complained they were manhandled by the military members.
After taking control of the station, the military released a statement which denied a coup was underway, adding that Mugabe and his family were ‘safe and sound and their security is guaranteed’.
They added that the army were targeting people who ‘were committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country.
Amored vehicles and soldiers at the city center in Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday morning after a ‘bloodless correction’ of power Military presence on the streets of Harare after it emerged that the president, Robert Mugabe, hmay have been deposed on Wednesday
Grim looking soldiers sit in a tank guarding the outskirts of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare where a suspected coup took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning
Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, said on national television:
‘We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander-in-chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG Mugabe, 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.
‘As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. To the civil servants, as you are aware, there is a plan by the same people to influence the current purging that is taking place in the political sphere to the civil service. We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.
‘To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to assure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed.’
‘As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy,’ the statement continued.
Things fall apart: Robert Mugabe and his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, before the succession struggle destroyed their friendship
Tensions have been rising in the land-locked African country after Zimbabwe’s head of the military, General Constantino Chiwenga, challenged Mugabe over his decision to sack Mnangagwa, himself, a former intelligence chief.
The move was widely seen as a power play to make way for his wife Grace to succeed him.
Mnangagwa, who has close ties to the military, had been seen as Mugabe’s natural successor, and after he was ousted, he took aim at Mugabe and his supporters.
Zimbabwe’s army said Wednesday it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and is securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster.
He said Zanu-PF was ‘controlled by undisciplined, egotistical and self-serving minnows who derive their power not from the people and the party but from only two individuals in the form of the first family’.
Head of the armed forces Constantino Chiwenga, openly threatened to intervene in politics if Mugabe did not stop removing veterans from government
Tanks began making their way to the city centre Tuesday as tensions reached boiling point. Then at least three explosions were heard in Harare overnight.
Armed soldiers were also reportedly seen assaulting passers-by in the capital and loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles in an unprecedented challenge to Mugabe.
The Zimbabwean President’s house, where gunfire was heard this morning, was also surrounded by soldiers, but speculation suggested it was for his own protection amid suggestions his 37-year reign was coming to an end.
Zimbabwe’s envoy to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, had earlier reported there was no coup, adding that the government was ‘intact’.
President Robert Mugabe may have just come to the end of his tyrannical rule of Zimbabwe
Robert Mugabe’s legacy as one of the most ruthless tyrants of modern times concluded in with the army annoucing that it had Mugabe and his wife Grace in custody following a takeover of the state-owned television network.
Leading to the military putsch, tensions escalated after the first lady appeared to be positioned to replace Mugabe’s recently fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa. Many observers in Zimbabwe to suspect she could eventually succeed her husband.
This has not gone down well as Grace Mugabe, the elderly politician’s second wife, remained unpopular with some Zimbabweans because of her lavish spending, including in London’s plush stores, while many around her struggled against the country’s crippling economy.
Zimbabwe Army chief Constantino Chiwenga [right] addresses media conference in Harare on Monday. He warned the Mugabe government not to dismiss veteran national political players from public life
Yesterday, former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars who was sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, returned from exile.
The dismissal left Mugabe’s wife Grace, in prime position to succeed her husband as the next president a succession also strongly opposed by senior ranks in the military. Tensions have been rising in the country after Zimbabwe’s head of the military, General Constantino Chiwenga, challenged Mugabe over his decision to sack the vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The night’s action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military’s supporters praised it as a ‘bloodless correction’. Overnight three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets.