Robert Mugabe 'under house arrest' in Zimbabwe after army seizes control

  15 November 2017    Read: 734
Robert Mugabe 'under house arrest' in Zimbabwe after army seizes control

President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest after the military seized control of Zimbabwe, South African president Jacob Zuma has said, AzVision.az reports citing the Independent.

Mr Zuma spoke to the 93-year-old leader who said he was "confined to his home" but "fine", according to an official statement released by the South African president's office.

He is also in contact with the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF), the statement said.

South Africa is sending envoys to meet with Mr Mugabe and the military, the government said.

Access was blocked to government buildings and courts in the capital, residents said on Wednesday. There were also unconfirmed reports of gunfire near Mr Mugabe's private residence in the early hours of the morning.

But the armed forces denied staging a military coup, saying that once they have completed their “mission”, the country will return to “normalcy”.

After taking control of state TV in the early hours of Wednesday morning, an army spokesman announced the military was targeting people close to President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, who had caused "social and economic suffering".

A statement read out by Major General Sibusiso Moyo gave assurances that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”. The leader has not yet appeared or given a statement himself.

Gen Moyo insisted the army was only targeting criminals around [Mr Mugabe] who are committing crimes... that are causing social and economic suffering in the country," he said.

"As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy."

He said the army wanted to make it “abundantly clear” that the move was not a military takeover.

Instead, he claimed “what the Zimbabwe defence forces are doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent event."

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