Military spokesperson says army seeks to ‘pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation’ in the country.
An army spokesman said on Wednesday that the army is holding Mugabe for his own safety.
There is no official word from the Mugabe family as to their whereabouts.
Among this unexpected series of events, the following are the latest reactions:
War Veterans call for Mugabe to be removed: “Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe should be removed as the country’s leader and as first secretary of the ruling Zanu-PF party,” the Secretary-General of Zimbabwe’s War Veterans Association, Victor Matemadanda, said on Wednesday.
Army statement: Mugabe ‘safe and sound’: “Comrade R G Mugabe and his family, are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him,” Major General SB Moyo said on Wednesday.
Before the military takeover: On Tuesday, The youth wing of Zimbabwe’s ruling party said it is “ready to die” for President Robert Mugabe.
Grace Mugabe believed to be in Namibia: Sky News has reported that, according to sources, Grace Mugabe believed to be in Namibia. Al Jazeera is unable to confirm this report, as yet.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 15, 2017
Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa in Harare describes the situation as tense: “The atmosphere, if I can describe, is tense. I’m Zimbabwean, I was born after independence from Britain. I’ve never experienced this kind of feeling in the air.
“At the moment, people are just wondering what is going to happen next. A South African plane from Johannesburg is also expected soon, and people are coming and going from the airport. It’s not as busy as it usually is, but it is open and it is functioning.”
Army seized state TV: On Wednesday, November 15, the Zimbabwe army seized state TV and blocked off access to government offices.
BREAKING: Zimbabwe's military has seized state TV and blocked off access to government offices.
On live TV, an army spokesman denied a coup against Robert Mugabe, instead saying the army seeks to "pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation." https://t.co/mj2rAqWota pic.twitter.com/NIGADNeZz4
— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 15, 2017
The Zimbabwe Herald Newspaper announced on Twitter that a special edition will be available on paper on Wednesday.
A special edition of The Herald will be in the streets shortly
— The Herald Zimbabwe (@HeraldZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
‘Hard to say how things will turn out’: “It’s very fluid and it’s hard to say exactly how this will turn out,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said. “The most important point to make is that everybody wants to see a stable and successful Zimbabwe and I think we are really appealing for everybody to refrain from violence.”
— Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (@FCDOGovUK) November 15, 2017
The President urged all political and military stakeholders in Zimbabwe to avoid any action that may plunge the country into unnecessary conflict and impact negatively on the region.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) November 15, 2017
Special Envoys to Zimbabwe: President Zuma, in his capacity as chair of the Southern African Development Community, will send special envoys to Zimbabwe to meet with Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force, the South African presidency said in a statement.
President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of SADC, is sending Special Envoys to #Zimbabwe and Angola in light of the unfolding situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) November 15, 2017
South African President Jacob Zuma expressed hope on Wednesday that there would not be unconstitutional changes of government in Zimbabwe after the military seized power in Harare.
My thoughts are with the people of #Zimbabwe today. Hoping for a transitional period of stability that leads to a free and fair election.
— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) November 15, 2017
US embassy closes: The US embassy closed to the public on Wednesday and encouraged citizens to shelter in place, citing “the ongoing political uncertainty through the night.”
Due to ongoing uncertainty in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Embassy in Harare will be minimally staffed and closed to the public on November 15. Embassy personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely. @StateDept
— U.S. Embassy Harare (@usembassyharare) November 15, 2017
UK embassy issues warning to UK citizens: The British Embassy issued a warning to UK citizens, citing “reports of unusual military activity.“
— UKinZimbabwe (@UKinZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
Dutch embassy advises its citizens to stay indoors: “Due to the uncertainty in Zimbabwe, we advise Dutch nationals to stay indoors until the situation becomes clearer.”
Due to current situation in Zim NL embassy in Harare will be minimally staffed & closed to the public on November 15.
— Dutch Embassy Harare 🇳🇱 (@NLinZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
Debido a la situación política que vive Zimbabwe, se recomienda que se extremen las precauciones especialmente en la ciudad de Harare y alrededores
— EmbEspañaZimbabwe (@EmbEspZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
There is increased military activity in Harare and the situation is tense. If you are in Harare, remain indoors and monitor the media. The Embassy will be closed November 15th.
— Canada in Zimbabwe (@CanEmbZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
Situation in Harare is calm. Embassy staff, Indian Community, both PIO & Expat are safe. No reason for concern and worry.
— India in Zimbabwe (@IndiainZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
#Zimbabwe update: heavy military presence at Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport demanding IDs and searching all vehicles entering or leaving – could be to prevent targeted people from fleeing
— Dewa Mavhinga (@dewamavhinga) November 15, 2017
SABC news, the digital news portal of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, wrote:
BREAKING: Zanu-PF Youth Leader Kudzai Chipanga has been arrested and Parliament staff and police manning the legislative building in Harare have been detained. #Zimbabwe #Harare pic.twitter.com/n1tO2XAHbn
— SABC News (@SABCNews) November 15, 2017
Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher, wrote that there are unconfirmed reports of arrests of cabinet ministers and prominent people.
I am receiving unconfirmed reports of arrests of cabinet ministers and prominent people in Zimbabwe. I will share when names are confirmed. Remember the army said they are “targeting thieves around” President Mugabe #Zimbabwe
— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) November 15, 2017
Zimbabwe police officers detained by Zimbabwe army in Harare – 15 November 2017 #Zimbabwe #ZimCoup #ZimbabweCoup #Mugabe #Mnangagwa #Chiwenga #GraceMugabe #Chihuri #ZimPolice #ZzimArmy pic.twitter.com/leMfj7DyCD
— Zim Local (@zimlocals) November 15, 2017
Folks our nation is in a dangerous place. If there ever was a time to pray for Zimbabwe it would be RIGHT NOW! I’m humbly calling on all who can pray to get on their knees & plead 4 peace & wisdom, we have lost too much as it is
— #ThisFlag E Mawarire (@PastorEvanLive) November 14, 2017