Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has been detained in an unfolding military takeover in the southern African country.
Soldiers took control of Zimbabwe’s ZBC state broadcaster in the early hours of Wednesday, and said the 93-year-old leader was “safe and sound”.
Mr. Mugabe has led the southern African country since independence in 1980.
But the soldiers denied that they’ve seized power, saying their action was only aimed at reining in ” criminal” elements around Mr. Mugabe, the oldest leader in the world.
Several officials have been held by the military, including ministers of the ruling ZANU-PF.
Those said to have been held include Albert Ngulube -Deputy Director Central Intelligence Organisation and Kudzai Chipanga – President of ZanuPF National Youth League.
Zimbabwe’s privately-owned NewsDay reports that three leading figures in the Generation 40 (G40) faction of Zanu-PF who had been reportedly fomenting chaos in the ruling party were picked up in the early hours of Wednesday following the intervention of the country’s Defence Forces.
Although the reports remain unconfirmed at the moment, indications are that Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo (Zanu PF’s secretary for administration), national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo were arrested in raids at their respective homes.
Mr. Moyo is believed to have been the brains behind the G40 faction that has reportedly been masterminding the expulsion of liberation war heroes in ZANU-PF, including the recent sacking of former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the report says.
Mr. Mnangagwa is said to have landed at an Air Force base in the country to take charge of affairs.
He was pushed pushed out to pave way for the emergence of Mr. Mugabe’s wife, a situation that irked the military, reports said.
Mr. Mugabe is said to be negotiating safe exit for himself and his wife, Grace.
ZANU-PF said this on Twitter Wednesday morning: Contrary to international reports, the gallant Zimbabwean Army has not staged a COUP. There is no COUP in Zimbabwe. Neither is there crisis.
The army is simply effecting a National Democratic Project and it’s doing so with peaceful aplomb.
Photo Credit- Povo Zim (Twitter)
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