Zimbabwe military says not taking over govt, targeting criminals around President Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s army has announced that “this is not a military takeover” and that President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe and sound.

“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,” the army announced on state-run media.

 

The early Wednesday announcement comes after a night of unrest with military vehicles in the capital and several explosions heard.

Armoured vehicles were seen on the streets near the Zimbabwean capital Harare as questions mounted Wednesday over whether President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, still has a firm grip on power.

Tensions between the 93-year-old leader and the military that has been a key buttress to his reign have intensified, and prolonged gunfire erupted near his private residence in the suburb of Borrowdale in the early hours, a witness told AFP.

The army statement says “as soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party accused army chief General Constantino Chiwenga on Tuesday of “treasonable conduct”. The public dispute has presented a major test for Mugabe, who is in increasingly frail health.

Chiwenga had demanded that Mugabe stop purges of senior party figures, including vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was dismissed last week.

ZANU-PF said Chiwenga’s stance was “clearly calculated to disturb national peace... and suggests treasonable conduct on his part as this was meant to incite insurrection”.

Source: hindustantimes

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