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techkenyot.com January 19, 2018


Zimbabwe crisis: Soldiers 'take over broadcaster ZBC'

15 November 2017, 11:32 | Glen Norman

Zimbabwe crisis: Soldiers 'take over broadcaster ZBC'

Mugabe in 1980

Soldiers have also taken control of the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC, according to Reuters.

Tuesday afternoon, armoured vehicles were spotted in Zimbabwe's capital Harare a day after the army commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, threatened to step in to resolve the political tensions in the ruling ZANU-PF following Mnangagwa's sacking. Three explosions rocked the centre of the southern African nation's capital, near the University of Zimbabwe campus, another witnesses said.

In a message posted online Tuesday night, the embassy also instructed USA government personnel in Zimbabwe to remain in their residences and work from home on Wednesday. Embassy personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Mr Mugabe shakes hands with then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980
Image Robert Mugabe shakes hands with then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980

The reports of explosions came after Zimbabwe's ruling party called Chiwenga's criticism of Mugabe's administration "treasonable" and meant to incite insurrection in the southern African nation.

Workers were told that they "should not worry", a source added, and that soldiers were only there to protect the site.

The BBC's Shingai Nyoka, in Harare, said the sounds of heavy gunfire and artillery had been heard in northern suburbs where a number of government officials, including the president, live.

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The dismissal of Vice President Mnangagwa, a former defence minister and a favourite to succeed Mr. Mugabe, appears to be the tipping point. Armed soldiers were assaulting passers-by in the early morning hours in Harare while officers were seen loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army's chief of staff, denied power was seized.

"It is our country and future at stake and we will not let any individual military man interfere with the leader of the party and legitimately voted president of this country", he told reporters on Tuesday.

Speaking to the BBC, the leader of the Zanu-PF youth wing, Kudzai Chipanga, said his members would not allow the armed forces to subvert the constitution and were prepared to die to defend the president.

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The public dispute has presented a major test for President Mugabe, who is in increasingly frail health. There is uncertainty as to where Zimbabwe will be going from now because the military are part of the old estate.

The country is now struggling to pay for imports due to a dollar crunch, which is also sparking rampant inflation only ten years after it suffered a financial implosion caused when the central bank began to print money.

While Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe haven't responded directly to Chiwenga's remarks, the Zanu-PF Youth League, a key ally of Grace Mugabe, slammed what they said was overreach by the military into political issues.

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The Twitter statement insisted the military move was not a coup. Areport said they would face charges of undermining the authority of the President, by singing "We hate what you're doing" as the first lady spoke.



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