Robert Mugabe’s fate uncertain after bloodless coup hits Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, has been deposed of by soldiers who surrounded his official and private residences, as well as other government buildings in what amounts to a bloodless coup.
Published: November 16, 2017, 8:45 am
Simon Thomas, acting British ambassador, confirmed that soldiers were currently deployed at strategic locations around Harare. The British Embassy issued a warning to its citizens, citing “reports of unusual military activity”.
“Although it doesn’t look like a coup, it is a coup,” Alex Magaisa, a senior Zimbabwe analyst told The Telegraph.
The coup is widely seen as part of a battle between the army and Mrs Mugabe, the first lady, over the presidential succession.
Some sources have suggested that his wife, Grace Mugabe, who had wanted to take over from her husband, has left Zimbabwe for Namibia.
But Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean newspaper owner, says the President’s wife is actually still in the capital.
However, Eddie Cross, a white MP from Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, also said he believed Grace Mugabe was now in Namibia.
Nick Mangwana, a Zanu-PF representative in the UK, told the BBC that the First Lady was no longer in Zimbabwe.
The recently fired vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was reported to have returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday morning from South Africa, where he had fled after being stripped of his office.
Tensions mounted after Mnangagwa, a powerful figure in the ruling Zanu-PF party, fled to South Africa and subsequently stripped of his lifetime membership of the party. The army has remained loyal to Mnangagwa.
South African president, Jacob Zuma, meanwhile said he had spoken to Mugabe, who was “fine”.
Zimbabwean defence forces took over control of the state broadcaster ZBC, with their spokesman Maj Gen SB Moyo screening a statement declaring they were only “targeting criminals” around Mugabe.
“We wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government. 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 violent conflict.”
The Zimbabwean military statement continued: “To the other Security Services: We urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
The army had acted in response to a purge of Zanu-PF members, including Mnangagwa.
Several cabinet ministers, including local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and finance minister Ignatius Chombo, and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwayo, were arrested. All three are fiercely loyal to Grace Mugabe.
Chombo is a member of the G40 faction inside the ruling Zanu-PF party, led by Mugabe’s wife. There was allegedly a brief gun fight outside Chombo’s house.
Armoured vehicles and troopsloyal to the vice-president on Wednesday morning blocked roads in the capital Harare around government buildings and the presidential residence.
Gun and artillery fire reportedly rang out in the northern parts of the city when the military had seized control of the country on Wednesday morning. The recently named Robert Mugabe International Airport is now under military watch.
Amnesty International have called on the Zimbabwe National Army to uphold “human rights”.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, told the House of Commons that Britain was closely monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe, which she described as remaining fluid.
The French foreign ministry has urged all parties in Zimbabwe to seek a peaceful solution, while a spokeswoman said a French school in Zimbabwe had been closed as part of broader security measures.
“The recent political developments in Zimbabwe, and their spillover, including in relation to the country’s security forces, are a matter of concern,” said a spokesman for the European Commission.
“We are following the situation closely and we want to underline that the fundamental rights of all citizens need to be respected and the constitutional order and democratic governance needs to be upheld,” he added in a statement.
“We call on all relevant players to move from confrontation to dialogue with the aim to a peaceful crisis resolution.”
At least three explosions were heard in near the university on Wednesday too, South African sources say.
The US Embassy closed to the public on Wednesday citing “the ongoing political uncertainty through the night.”
A military intervention in Zimbabwe would be fraught with legal problems. The African Union and the regional 15-nation Southern African Development Community have both stated that they would not recognise any authority coming to power by means of a coup d’etat.
The BBC meanwhile quoted from a parody Twitter account during the Today programme with presenter Nick Robinson citing @Zanu_pf as “the official Zanu PF account”. He spent some 25 seconds repeating its claims verbatim.
Thanks to British support for Mugabe’s despotic rule, the country’s natural resources have been pillaged leaving its residents poorer and close to starvation.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
The Turkish Parliament adopted a motion at an emergency session on January 2, authorising the government to send Turkish troops to Libya for one year.
PretoriaOn Wednesday 23 October, two Russian strategic Tupolev Tu-160 bombers arrived in South Africa after a record flight of more than 11 000 kilometers that lasted over 13 hours.
PretoriaIt is a staggering statistic but the South African government insists that it is not happening: During September 2019, there were forty-six farm attacks and seven farm murders, whilst one farm attack was averted.
Robert Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore on Friday, according to sources. He was surrounded by family including his wife, Grace. He had been receiving treatment in Singapore since April.
JohannesburgA black South African State Forensic Pathologist was found guilty of stealing body parts of a white woman from a mortuary.
PretoriaThe country's radical left-wing and anti-white government is intent on confiscating land belonging to white farmers — without compensation. The process of state-sanctioned land grab was given further momentum when another parliamentary motion was passed on Thursday.
The World Health Organisation says it is time for the world to take notice of this epidemic. A global health emergency has only been declared four times in the past.
An elderly white couple was attacked on their farm on 6 July 2019, at 15:30, in Bokfontein, North West Province. They were violently assaulted and only strategic items were taken.
Political rhetoric and feelings of racial revenge fuel the horrific violence in South Africa, including violence against women and children. The story of Nicky, a white farmer's wife raped by a black attacker, has shocked the country and the world.
StellenboschStefan Smit (62), owner of the wine farm Louiesenhof in Stellenbosch, was shot and killed in his house last week in the latest farm attack. A friend of Smit believes that the murder was a hit job.