Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Army Sieze Control, Claim it is Not a Coup
The Zimbabwe National Army has taken control of strategic institutions in the country. Army vehicles were reported to be outside the capital Harare Tuesday night, with the situation developing rapidly.
In a live broadcast, Major General Sibusiso Moyo told the people of Zimbabwe that the army hadtaken the move to arrest alleged criminals surrounding President Robert Mugabe, whom he claimed was safe and with his family.
“To the generality of the people of Zimbabwe we urge you to remain calm and limit unnecessary movement. However, we encourage all those that are employed and those with essential business in the city to continue their normal activities as usual. Our wish is that you enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for what many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice.”
“What the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict … To members of all defence forces all leave is cancelled and you are all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.”
Resistance will be met by force
Major General Moyo said any resistance will be met with brute force. “To other security services we urge you to cooperate fully for the good of our country. Let me be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country and therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
The move came after President Robert Mugabe fired his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of disloyality and plotting to seize power. Many observers saw the move as a step toward the installation of Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, as vice-president, which would put her in position to become president when the 93-year-old Robert Mugabe retires or dies.
Indications are that Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo is among those that have been arrested in an unfolding military intervention they say it’s not a coup.
US Embassy Warnings
The United States Embassy Harare urged its citizens to take precautionary measures to avoid getting caught up in unfolding process in the country.
“Due to ongoing uncertainty in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Embassy in Harare will be minimally staffed and closed to the public on November 15. Embassy personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely. @StateDept.”
Zanu PF Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said that he had heard rumours of a coup in the country. He declined to comment further.