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Zimbabwe: Military seizes State Broadcaster, says Mugabe is “safe and sound” & action not a coup

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Zimbabwe: Military seizes State Broadcaster, says Mugabe is "safe and sound" & action not a coup

The Zimbabwean military has taken over the state broadcaster, telling citizens that President Robert Mugabe is “safe and sound” and his “security is guaranteed” amid rumours of an ongoing coup.

The army however denied that it is carrying out a coup even as military activity in the streets continues to rise. “The situation in our country has moved to another level,” the officers said on national television, adding that “It is not a military takeover of government.”

“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…. Any provocation will be met with an appropriate response,” the army’s chief of staff Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo said in the broadcast.

Watch broadcast below:

The Canadian Embassy in the state has advised its citizens to “remain indoors and monitor the media,” saying it will be closed today, November 15th.

New York Times reports that “around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, taxis were running on the main roads leading to central Harare and people seemed to be making their way to work. Some soldiers could be seen on the main roads but were not stopping commuters.”

Zimbabwe’s Army General Constantino Chiwenga had on Monday, threatened that the military could “step in” to protect the positions of ruling ZANU–PF members who fought to end UK’s rule over Zimbabwe.

His comments were seen as a response to President Robert Mugabe‘s sacking of vice-president Emerson Mnangagwa, who previously served as the defence and state security minister and fought in the liberation war.

Associated Press reports that the head of the war veterans’ group Chris Mutsvangwa, in a statement, backed Chiwenga’s action which he described as “a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power”.

Gunshots and explosions were heard in the streets of Harare hours before the takeover of the state broadcaster.

Read the military statement in full (as published by Guardian):

Good morning Zimbabwe.

Fellow Zimbabweans. Following the address we made on 13 November 2017, which we believe our main broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the Herald were directed not to publicise, the situation in our country has moved to another level.

Firstly we wish to assure our nation, His Excellency, the president of the republic of Zimbabwe and commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, comrade R G Mugabe and his family, are safe and sound and their security 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.

As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.

To the civil servants, as you are aware there is a plan by the same individuals to influence the current purging which is taking place in the political sphere. To the civil service, we are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.

To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to ensure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed as has been the case with this group of individuals.

To our members of parliament, your legislative role is of paramount importance, of peace and stability in this country, and it is our desire that a dispensation is created that allows you to serve your respective political constituencies according to democratic tenants.

To the generality of the people of Zimbabwe, we urge you to remain calm and limit unnecessary movement. However we encourage those who are employed and those with essential business in the city to continue their normal activities as usual. Our wish is that you will enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for which many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice.

To political parties, we urge you to discourage your members from engaging in violent behaviour. To the youth, we call upon you to realise that the future of this country is yours. Do not be enticed with the dirty coins of silver, be disciplined and remain committed to the efforts and values of this great nation.

To all churches and religious organisations in Zimbabwe we call upon your congregations to pray for our country and preach the gospel of love, peace and unity and development. To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe defence forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.

We call upon all the war veterans to play a positive role in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country. To members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, all leave is cancelled and you are all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.

To the other security forces, we urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.

And to the media, we urge you to report fairly and responsibly.

We thank you.

10 Comments

  1. Mamamia

    November 15, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Kai! How Nigeria needs this. We can call it the purge. Where we purge out all these government officials not adding value to the system. As long as Nigeria has no checks the country will remain same. The senate are not any better than the govt we have. We really do need all these leaders gone with fresh minds between the ages of 25- 45 taking positions of power in our economy…

  2. Stephen Ron Wells

    November 15, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I wish same for Nigeria oh Nigeria oh Zoo nation
    I wish a day like Zimbabwe right now for Nigeria the Zoo nation
    I wish I could personally take over Zoo today
    So I can send all Senate and presidency to the lions section of the Zoo to be consumed raw
    Oh I wish oh I wish
    Congratulations Zimbabwe.

  3. NNEOMA

    November 15, 2017 at 11:21 am

    GOOD MORNING ZIMBABWE……FREEDOM IS COMING

  4. Ms B

    November 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    It is not a coup. Indeed. Just a peaceful change of guards. Poor Grace! All her plans just flew outta the window

  5. Lily

    November 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    “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…. Any provocation will be met with an appropriate response,” the army’s chief of staff Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo said in the broadcast.

    “We are only targeting criminals around him and are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice,” Moyo added.

    ——How can Moyo add the same sentence as he previously said?

    “and fourth in the liberation war”

    ——He fourth in the war? Issokay na

    BN, proof read your articles, na beg we dey beg una!

  6. Engoz

    November 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    This isn’t really about challenging Mugabe’s policies or a fight against two ideological systems. It’s all about who succeeds Mugabe. It’s an internal party tussle for power. The VP that was sacked and exiled is back in the country. If Mugabe had not dismissed him, this so-called ‘bloodless coup’ wouldn’t have happened. I don’t see any change in sight for Zimbabweans. The new leader most likely the VP is also going to come from the same party and cloth as Mugabe.

    • Tony

      November 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Well said. Same script with different casts.

    • Sunshiney

      November 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Correct… How will these people be any different?? They won’t

    • Chu

      November 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      This is the simple truth, whoever enters next either the ex VP of former wife or another would also have a lifetime reign in mind.
      The military just responded because they felt slighted by Mugabe since he promised that the war liberalists would be the ones in charge and Mugabe has been systematically removing them from power, the removal of the VP was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

  7. Tony

    November 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Isn’t Mugabe the real disease. Why the sugar coating? He is the oldest and has built a monstrous system pampered by his power hungry wife. Such selective change is just absurd. So it has to take the firing of the VP for the Military with vested interests to realise Zimbabweans were in pain? Hope constructive results come out of this purge so other African countries can copy. While age is part of the problem with governance in Africa the youths are apparently very corrupt and wld spend double on trashy things if put in power. The main problem is a horrible individualistic mindset backed by lack of functional structures. We all need to go look at the mirror and ask, how are we helping daily to make Africa better. We have cried the cry now let’s act the act.

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