Zimbabwe Military Takeover – In what seems to be a bloodless coup, the military has taken over operations in the country’s capital, Harare.
Following the sack of the Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa for no substantial reason, the military hinted at stepping into the politics to avoid further misconducts in the ruling party.
Making true the threat, the military stormed the country’s capital Harare. Reports confirm that the army has positioned their armoured tanks in the northern suburbs where Mr. Mugabe and a number of government officials live. Their presence was accompanied by sounds of gunfire.
The seeming Zimbabwe military takeover has attracted more local and international concerns. Zimbabwe is in a tensed state at the moment.
However, the military who has taken over the nation’s broadcasting network (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation) has unequivocally stated that the ongoing transition is in no way a coup but a necessary step to curb political misconducts by “criminals” who surround the presidency.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen Sibusiso Moyo who read the statement on air advised the people to go about their normal regular businesses. He also assured the people that Robert Mugabe and his household are safe and secure.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes… that are causing social and economic suffering in the country. As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
The statement also went on to assure the judiciary that their independence will not be tampered with. While the army solicits that all security services should “co-operate for the good of our country”, it did not forget to mention that any sought of provocation would “be met with an appropriate response.”
Also, all military and police personnel on leave have been ordered to return to active duty.
So far nothing has been heard from the nonagenarian president or his aides.
It would be recalled that the First Lady in the month past accused Mnangagwa and his allies of plotting a coup.
Cause Of Takeover
Before now, the VP was the known likely successor of the President. As their relationship got strained, Grace Mugabe came into the picture. The tussle between the two top figures divided the ruling party, ZANU-PF into factions.
Though the military says the takeover is to curb the excesses of political criminals, many believe it was spurred by the latest sack of the VP last Monday.
As mentioned in their statement, the takeover is an obligatory rescue mission to salvage Zim’s failing political and economic institutions.
Reports say that some senior government officials have been arrested and detained. Reuters’ source confirmed that Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo was among those in military custody.
Chombo is a ZANU-PF politician and a supporter of Grace Mugabe’s bid to succeed her husband.
With the official Zimbabwe military takeover backed by their statement, the latest development may actually see the end of Mugabe as the president of the Southern African country.
By extension, the takeover may potentially halt the move to make Grace Mugabe a replacement for Emmerson as well as a successor of the sit-tight president.
Speculations have it that the First Lady would most likely be announced as the VP replacement by the ruling party next month.
It is on record that the military is in favor of the recently sacked VP who is also a veteran of the Liberation War.
As of now, it is not clear who calls the shot in Zimbabwe.
Side by side to the uneasiness in Zimbabwe, many have applauded the move with hopes that this will finally unseat the president who has ruled the nation for decades and refused to step down.
Zimbabweans blame the poor economic state of the country on Mugabe’s age and leadership.
On the other hand, the likes of Alex Magaisa, a former adviser to Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, categorically describes the ongoing Zimbabwe military takeover as a full-fledged coup.
“They have decided not to call it a coup because they know that a coup does not sell, it will be condemned.
“But as far as authority is concerned it seems very clear that President Mugabe is now just a president in name and authority is now residing in the military.”