Menu
News

Zimbabwean army: 'This is not a military takeover'

Armed Zimbabwean soldiers sit on top of a military tank in Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. At least three explosions were heard in Zimbabwe's capital early Wednesday and military vehicles were seen in the streets after the army commander threatened to
Armed Zimbabwean soldiers sit on top of a military tank in Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. At least three explosions were heard in Zimbabwe's capital early Wednesday and military vehicles were seen in the streets after the army commander threatened to "step in" to calm political tensions over 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe's possible successor. The ruling party accused the commande

ZIMBABWE'S ruling party has accused the head of the armed forces of treason on Tuesday as troops took up positions around the capital in an escalation of a dispute with 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe over political succession.

Just 24 hours after military chief General Constantino Chiwenga threatened to intervene to end a purge in the ruling party, a Reuters reporter saw six armoured personnel carriers on major thoroughfares on the outskirts of the capital.

Aggressive soldiers directing traffic told passing cars to keep moving through the darkness.

"Don't try anything funny. Just go," one soldier said on Harare Drive. The presence of troops sparked rumours of a coup against Mugabe, although there was no evidence to suggest Zimbabwe's leader of the last 37 years had been toppled.

The country has been on edge since Monday when Chiwenga said he was prepared to "step in" to end a purge of supporters of a sacked vice president. The unprecedented statement represents a tussle over who will succeed Mugabe, who has been in power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo gave a national address on television, where he told the public it was not a military takeover. 

Mugabe's ZANU-PF said it stood by the "primacy of politics over the gun" and accused Chiwenga of "treasonable conduct ... meant to incite insurrection." Mugabe fired Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa last week.

The veteran of the 1970s liberation war was popular with the military and had been seen as a likely successor to Mugabe.

The army views his removal as part of a purge of independence-era figures to pave the way for Mugabe to hand power to his wife Grace Mugabe. A Reuters witness saw two armoured vehicles parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about 20km from the city.

Witnesses said they saw four armoured vehicles turn before reaching Harare and head towards the Presidential Guard compound in a suburb on the outskirts of Harare.

"There were about four tanks and they turned right here, you can see markings on the road," one witness on the Chinhoyi highway said, referring to the armoured vehicles.

Topics:  editors picks



BIG READ: Keppel candidates address Livingstone's wish list

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Mayor Bill Ludwig and Councillor Jan Kelly are proud supporters of Livingstone Shire Council's proactive approach towards tackling Domestic and Family Violence, through the educational and awareness training sessions with Lifeline Australia.

See where your favourite candidates sit on the big issues for Keppel

Resident: $4.1m Yeppoon rail line is way off track

Robert Lang on his Nankin property, which his family have owned for nearly 100 years. Mr Lang knows the neighbouring railway from the meatworks well, and says his mind boggles over the ALP's pledge for the track.

Robert Lang said the upgraded Yeppoon rail line would not get used

Untapped potential: Emerald land a perfect Adani repair hub

CD Adams & Co Real Estate Emerald offer a variety of lots in the Highlands Industrial Estate, Pilot Farm Rd, Emerald ranging from 11,926sq m to 32.59ha.

'You have a workforce & good facilities here': Agent's bold ptich

Local Partners