Zimbabwe’s Army on Wednesday announced that it expected “normalcy” to return as soon as it had completed its “mission”. In the statement, the army said it was only targeting “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, and sought to reassure the country that “this is not a military takeover.”
Last night’s action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military’s supporters praised it as a “bloodless correction.” Meanwhile, Armed soldiers in armoured personnel blocked off all access to government offices and Parliament building even as Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks in order to draw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country’s ongoing financial crisis. Also Read: Who is Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe crisis Live Updates:
10:30 am: Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, 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.
9:00 am: The South African presidency said Mugabe had told Zuma over the phone that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family safe.
7.52 am: South Africa President Jacob Zuma calls for “calm and restraint”, asks defence forces “to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined in Zimbabwe”
7.50 am: Local media reports South Africa’s defence and state security ministers have been dispatched by President Jacob Zuma as regional envoys, and will meet both Mugabe and the military. They have arrived in Harare
7.19 am: The Zimbabwean military’s takeover of power and detention of President Robert Mugabe “seems like a coup”, BBC quoted key regional bloc, the African Union, as saying
12.31 am: Zimbabwe’s military has told regional leaders its move to seize power from President Robert Mugabe was not a coup,the head of the African Union commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said. “The military have reassured us this is not a coup d’etat. The African Union is against any unconstitutional change of government,” reports Reuters
11.06 pm: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that Indians in Zimbabwe are safe and said that she was in constant touch with the Indian Embassy in the country. “I am in constant touch with Indian Embassy in Zimbabwe. Our Ambassador has informed me that Indians there are safe and there is no cause for concern,” she tweeted.
Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Harare, in a tweet, said, “Situation in Harare is calm. Embassy staff, Indian Community, both PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and expats are safe. No reason for concern and worry.”
Zimbabwe – I am in constant touch with Indian Embassy in Zimbabwe. Our Ambassador has informed me that Indians there are safe and there is no cause for concern. @IndiainZimbabwe
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) November 15, 2017
10.59 pm: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for calm and restraint in Zimbabwe after the military seized power. “The U.N. Secretary-General is monitoring the evolving situation in Zimbabwe. He appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, is of vital importance,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said.
10.45 pm: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is not clear whether the dramatic events in Zimbabwe mark “the downfall of Mugabe.” Johnson accused Mugabe of rigging elections, torturing opponents and “the worst hyper-inflation in recorded history.” Johnson says the country must not exchange one “unelected tyrant” for another.
8.30 pm: Taking into account the ongoing unrest in Zimbabwe, British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed concern for the safety of around 20,000 people in the turmoil-hit country, She said, “We have all seen what has been taking place in Harare. We are monitoring those developments very carefully. The situation is still fluid, and we would urge restraint on all sides because we want to see and we would call for an avoidance of violence.” The government issued fresh travel advice on Wednesday, urging Britons in Harare “to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer”.
7.55 pm: The Indian mission in Harare confirmed of the safety of the Indian community in Zimbabwe, following unrest in the country that triggered speculation of a coup, news agency PTI reported.
5.20 pm: French foreign ministry spokeswoman says closed French school in Zimbabwe as part of broader security measures given to French expatriates, news agency Reuters reported.
5.00 om: The Secretary-General of Zimbabwe’s War Veterans Association, Victor Matemadanda, said, “Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe should be removed as the country’s leader and as first secretary of the ruling Zanu-PF party.” He also said that a military takeover earlier on Wednesday was for the good of Zimbabwe.
3:30 pm: China’s Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told AP that the defence ministry had handled arrangements for Chiwenga’s visit but characterised it as a pre-planned bilateral exchange.
3:00 pm: As per Reuters, Zimbabwe Military is reportedly in charge of paramilitary police support unit in Harare.
2:15 pm: On Monday, Army commander Constantino Chiwenga had threatened to “step in” to calm political tensions in Zimbabwe.
2:12 pm: The army statement had said: “We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover.”
2:00 pm: As per the Associated Press, it wasn’t clear where Robert Mugabe and his wife were but it seems they are in the custody of the military. “Their security is guaranteed,” the army spokesman said. Also Read: Who is Grace Mugabe?
1:30 pm: Zimbabwe’s army urges other security services to “cooperate for the good of our country,” warning that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
1:00 pm: China today said Zimbabwe military chief General Constantino Chiwenga’s visit to Beijing last week was a normal military visit.
12:45 pm: Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC called for peaceful, Constitutional ‘democratisation’ after military coup.
12:30 pm: The Zimbabwean national police force has recalled all officers on leave. A police official spoke to AP on condition of anonymity saying all police on leave have been ordered to return to their posts immediately.
12:00 pm: Zimbabwe army urges other security services to “cooperate,” warning that provocation “will be met with appropriate response”, AP reported. Also Read: US embassy in Zimbabwe tells staff to stay home due to ‘political uncertainty’
11:50 am: Zimbabwe army says once mission accomplished, ‘situation will return to normalcy,’ AP reported.
11: 45 am: After night in which explosions, gunshots were heard around Harare, Zimbabwe army says Mugabe is safe and it is “targeting criminals,” AP reported.
11:30 am: Zimbabwe army spokesman on state broadcaster says ‘this is not a military takeover,” AP reported.
11:15 am: US Embassy in Zimbabwe urges US citizens there to “shelter in place” amid appearance of troops in capital, AP reported.
11:00 am: US Embassy in Zimbabwe encourages US citizens to ‘shelter in place’ amid political turmoil, AP reported.