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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Denies Coup Amid Reports Of Tanks Near Capital

15 November 2017

The former intelligence chief and long-time associate of the president had been viewed as his most likely successor, and is thought to have significant support within Zimbabwe's security establishment. She's been nicknamed "Gucci Grace" for her exorbitant shopping sprees overseas, trips which stand in stark contrast to the lives of those hit hard by the country's massive inflation and debt burdens.

This unprecedented intervention by the military has drawn angry responses from supporters of Mugabe, according to the Zimbabwe Mail which describes the country as "on the brink". A celebrated freedom fighter in the country's liberation wars, the 75-year-old has since gone into hiding and his whereabouts are unknown.

The statement, read out by a man in military fatigues, said: "We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president. and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed".

"As soon as we accomplish our mission we expect situation to return to normalcy", Moyo said.

The staffers of the state broadcasting claimed that they were manhandled by the soldiers as they took control of the office.

Mugabe's governing ZANU-PF party issued a stiff warning to the army commander, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, saying Zimbabwe would not succumb to military pressure.

Both the USA and British embassies in Zimbabwe have advised their nationals to stay indoors because of what they call the 'uncertain situation'.

The US embassy in Zimbabwe warned its citizens in the country to "shelter in place" due to "ongoing political uncertainty".

Mr Mugabe shakes hands with then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980
Image Robert Mugabe shakes hands with then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980

The Dutch embassy told its citizens in Zimbabwe to stay indoors.

The statement called on troops to return to barracks immediately, with all leave canceled.

The unconfirmed reports said there was gunfire in parts of Harare on Tuesday night. Grace split with her own husband, and her wedding to the president in 1996 was attended by Nelson Mandela and other African leaders. However, other experts believe the turmoil "may actually allow Mugabe - the world's oldest national leader - to strengthen the extraordinary hold on power he has maintained since 1980".

The tactic has been effective.

Army leaders are at odds with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his ruling party. "Any threat to his power base has been by democratic opposition", Curnow said.

His removal is widely perceived as a prelude to Mugabe possibly promoting the politically ambitious first lady, Grace Mugabe, to one of two vice presidential posts. More than 100 senior officials allegedly supportive of Mnangagwa were listed for disciplinary measures by a faction associated with Grace Mugabe.

It was not clear where Mugabe, 93, and his wife were Wednesday but it seems they are in the custody of the military. "There has been a decision to intervene because our constitution had been undermined, in the interim Comrade E. Mnagngawa will be president of Zanu-PF as per the constitution of our revolutionary organization".

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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Denies Coup Amid Reports Of Tanks Near Capital