Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:26 am
The degenerating political situation in Zimbabwe took a turn for the worse early Tuesday with the military taking control of the state TV and blocking off access to government offices in the capital Harare.
Major General SB Moyo, said the army was seeking to “pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation” in the country said in an early morning broadcast on TV early Wednesday morning.
But he denied that the army was carrying out a coup against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
He assured that Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound and their safety is guaranteed”.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice” he said.
The army spokesperson said that once the military’s objectives have been achieved, the situation in the country would return to normal, before urging Zimbabweans to continue with their lives as usual.
Moyo also called on political parties to “discourage” their members from turning to violence.
“To the youth, we call upon you to realise that the future of the country is yours, do not be enticed by the dirty coins of silver, be disciplined and remain committed to the ethos and values of this great nation.”
The military also assured the Zimbabwean judiciary that its independence is guaranteed while urging security services to “co-operate for the good of our country” and any provocation would “be met with an appropriate response”
In addition, the military added that all leave for the defence forces is cancelled and personnel should return to barracks immediately
BBC reports that the UK Foreign Office advised Britons “currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer”.
The US embassy in Harare tweeted that it would be closed on Wednesday “due to ongoing uncertainty”.
It also advised US citizens in Zimbabwe to “shelter in place” until further notice.
Alex Magaisa, former adviser to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, told the BBC he believes the military’s claim that they haven’t carried out a coup is untrue.
“They have decided not to call it a coup because they know that a coup does not sell, it will be condemned,” he said.
“But as far as authority is concerned it seems very clear that President Mugabe is now just a president in name and authority is now residing in the military.”
BBC also noted that the military action came hours after Zimbabwe’s ruling party accused the country’s army chief of “treasonable conduct” after he warned of possible military intervention.
General Constantino Chiwenga had challenged 93-year-old President Mugabe after he sacked the vice-president.
Gen Chiwenga said the army was prepared to act to end purges within Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
Tensions were raised further on Tuesday when armoured vehicles were seen taking up positions on roads outside Harare, although their purpose was unclear.
Credits: BBC, Aljazeera