Zimbabwe Army Seizes Power

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Joseph Cotterill in Johannesburg, Tony Hawkins in Harare and David Pilling in London

Experimental feature

Listen to this article

00:00 00:00 > Experimental feature

Give us your feedback Thank you for your feedback.

What do you think?


Report a mispronounced word

Thank you for your help!

Robert Mugabe’s four decades of rule over Zimbabwe appeared to be at an end after the army seized control of the country on Wednesday and put one of the world’s longest-serving rulers under house arrest in the capital Harare.

The army moved in the early morning hours, taking control of state broadcasting and the capital’s main thoroughfares, saying it had been forced into action to remove “criminals” around the president and insisting Mr Mugabe and his family were in a “safe and secure place”.

“We are targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country,” said Major General SB Moyo, the military spokesman. “As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

David Pilling Zimbabwe’s military takeover fits the narrative of its patriarch
> FT View The messy endgame that threatens Zimbabwe
> Africa Zimbabwe power struggle pits Mugabes against long-time allies

The military action came a week after Mr Mugabe, 93, sacked Emmerson Mnangagwa, his vice-president and a veteran of Zimbabwe’s liberation fight, in a move that appeared to put Grace Mugabe, 52, on course to succeed her ailing husband. Mr Mnangagwa had fled to South Africa and said he would challenge the rule of Mr Mugabe, who was using the ruling Zanu-PF as his “personal property”.

In a rare press conference on Monday, General Constantino Chiwenga, the army commander and an ally of Mr Mnangagwa, had said the military would not “hesitate to step in” to “protect the revolution”. Many interpreted his statement as a warning against Mr Mugabe, who has ruled the southern African nation since independence from Britain in 1980.

Soldiers in Harare stood guard outside the state television building through Wednesday and manned a checkpoint at the airport where flights were running normally. Army vehicles blocked off a handful of streets in the city centre. State television and radio played music after normal broadcasting was suspended.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, spoke to Mr Mugabe, 93, on Wednesday, and said he “indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine”.

There were indications the military was rounding up political allies of Mrs Mugabe within the ruling Zanu-PF, a group of younger cadres who sided against Mr Mnangagwa and his fellow liberation-era bloc in the bitter succession battle.

Among those close to Mrs Mugabe who were arrested by soldiers, according to people in Harare familiar with the military’s actions, were Ignatius Chombo, the finance minister, and Kudzai Chipanga, the head of Zanu-PF’s youth league, who had issued a statement attacking Gen Chiwenga on Tuesday.

General Constantino Chiwenga during a media conference on Monday © AFP

Military officers and veterans of the liberation war had become ever more concerned at the rise of Mrs Mugabe in Zanu-PF during the past three years. A former secretary to the president, Mrs Mugabe has been at the centre of a toxic succession battle in Zanu-PF that escalated as the president’s health has deteriorated.

Known as “Gucci Grace” because of her penchant for shopping, the flamboyant first lady was believed by many to wield growing influence over Mr Mugabe as he became frail, marginalising party veterans.

Her main rival in the succession race had been Mr Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as “the Crocodile” and backed by veterans of the liberation war.

Political analysts expect the military to re-appoint him as vice-president with effective control over the government.

“This is a correction of a state that was careening off the cliff,” Chris Mutsvangwa, leader of the liberation war veterans, an influential group, told Reuters. “It’s the end of a very painful and sad chapter in the history of a young nation, in which a dictator, as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife.”

President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace during a meeting of his ruling Zanu-PF's youth league in Harare last month © Reuters

Lloyd Msipa, an analyst at the Africa Public Policy Research Institute, said Gen Chiwenga did not want to move against Mr Mugabe himself, largely because of their history together in the liberation struggle.

Instead, he was portraying his actions as a move against those around the president who had been siphoning off the country’s wealth, said Mr Msipa. “They are saying to Mr Mugabe, ‘we are actually protecting you from yourself. These youngsters with their superfast brains and their technology are getting you to sign all these documents’.”

Mr Msipa, who knows Mr Mnangagwa personally, said the former vice-president was preparing to fly into Manyame air base, a military facility in Harare.

“This is the man they need for the transition from Mugabe to something else,” he said.

Mr Mugabe, Zanu-PF’s dominant figure for decades, had said he would lead the party into presidential elections next year. But analysts say the party may now use a conference scheduled for next month to formally elect a new leader.

Witnesses reported explosions in the northern suburbs of Harare overnight, but the only signs of the coup on Wednesday were roadblocks on streets that were abnormally quiet.

In Washington, the state department said: “The US government encourages all Zimbabweans to approach disputes calmly and peacefully while following democratic, transparent and constitutional processes for resolving differences.”

The UK Foreign Office said British nationals should “remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer”.

A senior western defense official briefed on events in Zimbabwe told the FT the news had taken his country by surprise and it had no plan in place to evacuate its citizens.

Robert Mugabe’s 37 years in power

1980 Robert Mugabe celebrates overwhelming victory in independence elections with a magnanimous speech soothing the country’s white minority and Britain, its former colonial power

1982 The president ruthlessly suppresses opposition to his rule in the province of Matabeleland

Late 1990s Mr Mugabe presides over the often violent seizure of 4,500 white-owned farms, a campaign that intensifies over the next decade, accelerating a decline in the white population

2002 Mr Mugabe wins a presidential election marred by violence. Repression and economic disintegration gather speed, bringing EU sanctions and Zimbabwe’s suspension and subsequent withdrawal from the Commonwealth

2008 Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party loses parliamentary elections to the Movement for Democratic Change, led by former trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, but Mr Mugabe wins a run-off after Mr Tsvangirai pulls out in protest at violence

2009 Regional mediators persuade Mr Tsvangirai’s opposition to join Zanu-PF in a unity government, with Mr Mugabe retaining the presidency. The government introduces the US dollar as its main currency to counter hyperinflation

2013 Mr Mugabe, at the age of 89, wins another five-year term as president, with an overwhelming victory over Mr Tsvangirai. The UK, US and EU raise serious concerns over the poll’s credibility

2014 Grace Mugabe, Mr Mugabe’s second wife, is elevated to a senior position in Zanu-PF despite no previous role in the party, as the president reinforces his grip on power

Nov 6 2017 Mr Mugabe sacks vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, clearing the way for his wife to take the post

Nov 13 After Mr Mnangagwa’s removal, Zimbabwe’s top general warns that the military will not hesitate to step in to end purges against former liberation war fighters

Additional reporting by Katrina Manson in Washington

Letter in response to this article:

Help Zimbabwe make its transition democratic / From Carl Wright, Commonwealth Local Government Forum

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Source : https://www.ft.com/content/7724bc6e-c9bd-11e7-ab18-7a9fb7d6163e



Zimbabwe army seizes power and holds Mugabe
Zimbabwe's army seizes power, Mugabe confined but "safe"
Zimbabwe's army seizes power, targets 'criminals' around Mugabe
China urges Zimbabwe to avoid violence as army seizes power
Military Seizes Power In Zimbabwe, Confines Mugabe
Zimbabwe on Knife's Edge After Military Seizes Power
Zimbabwe military claims to have seized power, says Mugabe safe
Zimbabwe's Military Seizes Power From Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe military seizes power targeting 'criminals'