Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, heading the nation’s ZANU-PF party, earlier as prime minister, for the last 30 years as president. He’s now aged-93 in poor health.
On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s military took control of the country’s state-run ZBC television.
Addressing the nation, spokesman General SB Moyo said criminals “committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country” were targeted “in order to bring them to justice,” adding:
The military is seeking to “pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation.” He ludicrously denied a coup occurred, saying “Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their safety is guaranteed.”
On November 14, ZANU-PF accused the army chief of “treasonable conduct” after he challenged Mugabe’s sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa for disloyalty, a former intelligence chief, seen as his successor.
Ruling party members believe a “bloodless transition” of power is underway, Mubabe heavily guarded under house arrest, preparing to announce his resignation.
Mnangagwa may succeed him. On Tuesday, tanks and armored vehicles rolled through Harare, the nation’s capital.
According to South African News24, Mugabe arranged for his wife Grace to leave the country ahead of his resignation. She reportedly fled for neighboring Namibia.
Over night, there were reports of explosions, gunfire near Mubabe’s private residence, and incidents of military abuse.
On Wednesday morning, things were calm in Harare though usually busy streets were largely empty, activity picking up later in the day.
No disturbances were reported elsewhere in the country. It’s unclear if CIA operatives are involved in what’s going on.
A tweet from America’s embassy in Harare cited “ongoing uncertainty” – likely not much longer if Washington orchestrated Mugabe’s ouster, an imperial foe.
Things remain tense in Harare, troops deployed to keep order. African policy analyst Nii Akuetteh said a coup is underway to replace Mugabe.
“If it is not a coup, the military should be back in their barracks. The military is supposed to be defending the country from external enemies.”
“We don’t have any news at all suggesting that Zimbabwe has been attacked by external enemies. If there is a criminal operation, it is supposed to be (handled) by the police.”
“Now, we should watch if there are divisions in the military, if and when Mugabe will make a statement and what he will say.”
He’s Africa’s oldest leader, his rule apparently coming to an end.