Citizens of the United Kingdom who are resident in Zimbabwe have been advised to remain indoors and stay clam amid threats of violence and rumors of coup d’etat in south African nation.
The UK embassy in Zimbabwe wrote in a Twitter post:
‘Due to the uncertain situation in Harare, incl. reports of unusual military activity, we advise British nationals in the city to stay safely at home/indoors until the situation becomes clearer. Monitor this account for updates.’
Due to the uncertain situation in Harare, incl. reports of unusual military activity, we advise British nationals in the city to stay safely at home/indoors until the situation becomes clearer. Monitor this account for updates.
— UKinZimbabwe (@UKinZimbabwe) November 15, 2017
Gunshots were heard around President Robert Mugabe’s residence as the military took control of the state broadcaster, but he is reportedly safe.
According to Sky News, there is panic and wide speculations of a coup in the country.
Loud blasts were heard as soldiers drove around Harare in the early hours of Wednesday.
In a nationwide broadcast, an unnamed military personnel told the Zimbabwean citizenry that soldiers are only against people who are jeopardizing the country’s economic and political progress.
‘Our president Comrade Mugabe and his household are safe and sound. No harm has been done to them, and their security is guaranteed,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Our targets are criminals around Mr. President who have betrayed Zimbabwe by committing crimes that are causing social and economic hardship in the country. We are here to justice is done to them.’
All military officials were asked to return to their barracks, including those on leave.
However, General Chiwenga, who Mr Mugabe earlier accused of treason for his intervention, said on national radio that the military has not seized governmental powers.
Chinwenga also beckoned on the youths, community leaders and war veterans to join hands in the fight against plutocracy and corruption.
In his words: ‘…To all people of Zimbabwe, well-wishers and concerned friends in the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a coup d’etat. The military is not interested in taking over the reigns of power.
‘We implore you to cooperate with the military for the good of our country…and I wish to make it clear that our goal is to address the human security threats in our country. In pursuance to this solemn objective, any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.’
The news outlet quoted a UK Foreign Office spokesperson as saying, ‘We have heard and seen reports of military vehicles and personnel patrolling on the outskirts of Harare, and we are keeping tabs on the development. Citizens will have their travel advice under regular review.
‘However, we advice all British nationals in Zimbabwe who may have concerns to monitor our travel guides for changes.’
Image: President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe, 52, has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years. He has been the country’s only leader since independence.
Whereas most soldiers refused to answer questions from journalists, Chinwenga was quoted as saying on Monday that the current crisis is aimed at reminding ‘those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting Zimbabwe’s revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.’
‘This current cleansing of party members with a liberation background must stop now,’ he said, according to the Sky News report.