article comment count is: 0

Zimbabwe army takes over state broadcaster but denies coup

The military in Zimbabwe has taken control of the country’s state broadcaster in the capital Harare. The army seized the state TV and also blocked off access to government offices but denied it was taking over government. Major General Moyo said “as soon as they are done the situation will come to normalcy”.

The military in Zimbabwe has taken control of the country’s state broadcaster in the capital, Harare. The military seized the state TV and also blocked off access to government offices, but denied it was taking over government.

Military spokesperson, Major General S.B. Moyo made a televised statement early today saying President Robert Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound and their security is guaranteed”.

He added that the army is targeting “criminals around” President Mugabe, who are “committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in order to bring them to justice”.

Maj Gen Moyo said “as soon as they are done the situation will come to normalcy”.

“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,” he noted.

Maj Gen Moyo’s announcement follows General Constantino Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), press statement this week on the political situation in the country. Gen Chiwenga issued a warning that the military would “step in” if those responsible for “purging” in the ruling Zanu-PF party do not stop. Gen Chiwenga said the military will not hesitate to take corrective measures when they felt the gains of the liberation struggle were under threat.

Read: War veterans on the war path in Zimbabwe

A file photo taken on May 2, 2008 shows Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe’s then ZANU-PF election agent addressing a press conference in Harare. Photo: ANP/AFP Alexander Joe

Zanu PF however yesterday described as “treasonous” the statements by ZDF Commander Gen Chiwenga. The party’s national spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, said Gen Chiwenga’s statements were meant to incite insurrection and violent challenge to the constitutional order.

Read: Botswana leader Ian Khama to handover “baton of leadership” to his Deputy as Mugabe fires his VP

“Clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability, the said statement by General Constantino Chiwenga which was not signed, and which did not represent the rest of the command element, suggests treasonable conduct on his part as this was meant to incite insurrection and violent challenge to the constitutional order,” Khaya Moyo said.

The situation is tense in the capital as the political future is uncertain. The US embassy in Harare has issued a warning saying it will be closed today and continues to closely monitor the situation. The EU delegation is also closed today.

Tell us what you think

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

By continuing to use our website, you agree to our use of cookies. If you'd like to learn more about the cookies we use, please read our Cookie policy.