You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Latest: Zimbabwe former minister: Mugabe should 'rest'

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 3 days ago
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Video by Reuters

HARARE, Zimbabwe — The Latest on the military takeover in Zimbabwe (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

A former Zimbabwe finance minister and current activist says of President Robert Mugabe: "The old man should be allowed to rest." Tendai Biti spoke to South African broadcaster eNCA as the 93-year-old Mugabe was said to be in army custody after an unprecedented public rift with the military.

Zimbabweans are hoping that whatever happens next will occur without bloodshed. Biti says that Mugabe is a "very intelligent man who must know the die is cast."

___

1:45 p.m.

South Africa's president says he hopes Zimbabwe's military will respect the constitution "so the situation will not go beyond the situation where it is now."

President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation on television not long after speaking with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Zuma said Mugabe is "fine" but confined to his home after the army appeared to take control.

Zuma says he hopes the situation in the neighboring country "is going to be controlled." His office has said he is sending his defense and security ministers to meet with Mugabe and Zimbabwe's army.

1:10 p.m.

The head of Zimbabwe's influential war veterans association says they stand with the army and that President Robert Mugabe should be recalled as president and ruling party leader.

Victor Matemadanda told reporters in the capital, Harare, that the country has been sliding into a "state of chaos."

He says the ruling party should establish a commission of inquiry into Mugabe and why he decided to let his wife insult veterans and the armed forces.

___

12:55 p.m.

South Africa's president says he has spoken with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and that the 93-year-old leader is confined to his home but is "fine."

A statement by President Jacob Zuma's office continues to refer to Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president.

Zuma is sending South Africa's ministers of defense and state security to Zimbabwe to meet with Mugabe and the military there.

Zuma is calling for calm.

___

12:10 p.m.

South African President Jacob Zuma, as leader of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community, has "noted with great concern" the unfolding political situation in neighboring Zimbabwe.

Zuma, in a statement issued from his office Wednesday, called for "restraint and calm" and "expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions."

Zuma urged all members of the Zimbabwe government and the military to "resolve the political impasse amicably." The South African president said southern Africa's regional body will "closely monitor the situation and remains ready to assist where necessary."

___

9:25 a.m.

In the wake of the military takeover in Zimbabwe, the national police force has recalled all officers on leave. A top police official who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press told The Associated Press that all police on leave have been ordered to return to their posts immediately.

___

8:30 a.m.

Zimbabwe's army said Wednesday it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and is securing government offices and patrolling the capital's streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster.

The night's action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military's supporters praised it as a "bloodless correction."

Overnight three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets.

The military actions appear to put the army in control of the country.

___

6:50 a.m.

The Zimbabwe army’s takeover of the state broadcaster and action against some members of President Robert Mugabe’s government has been praised by the chairman of the Liberation War Veterans’ Association.

Chris Mutsvangwa, head of the war veterans’ group issued a statement from Johannesburg praising Army General Constantino Chiwenga for carrying out “a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power.” The statement said the army will return Zimbabwe to “genuine democracy.”

Mutsvangwa and the war veterans’ group are staunch allies of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired from his post of vice president by Mugabe last week.

___

5:50 a.m.

Zimbabwe’s army urges other security services to “cooperate for the good of our country,” warning that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”

The statement read out early Wednesday on state-run television calls on troops to return to barracks immediately, with all leave canceled.

It says that if the country’s degenerating political, social and economic situation is not addressed, it “may result in a violent conflict.”

The army insists that this is not a military takeover and that President Robert Mugabe’s security is guaranteed.

___

4:55 a.m.

Zimbabwe’s army has announced that “this is not a military takeover” and that President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe and sound.

“We are only targeting criminals around who him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” the army announced on state-run media.

President Robert Mugabe listens to his wife, Grace Mugabe, at a rally of his ruling ZANU-PF party in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Nov. 8 © Philimon Bulawayo President Robert Mugabe listens to his wife, Grace Mugabe, at a rally of his ruling ZANU-PF party in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Nov. 8 The early Wednesday announcement comes after a night of unrest with military vehicles in the capital and several explosions heard.

The army statement says that “as soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

Zimbabwe for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and the 93-year-old Mugabe after he fired his deputy and longtime ally, who had military support.

___

4 a.m.

The British embassy in Zimbabwe is warning citizens to stay indoors “until the situation becomes clearer” amid growing political turmoil and military vehicles in the capital.

The embassy on Twitter cited “the uncertain situation” and “reports of unusual military activity” in the capital, Harare.

At least three explosions have been heard early Wednesday in Harare and armed soldiers and military vehicles have been seen in the streets.

Zimbabwe for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980.

___

3:25 a.m.

The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe is encouraging American citizens to “shelter in place” amid rising political turmoil and the appearance of troops in the capital.

An embassy statement cites “the ongoing political uncertainty through the night.” The embassy will be closed to the public on Wednesday.

At least three explosions have been heard early Wednesday in Harare and armed soldiers and military vehicles have been seen in the streets.

Zimbabwe for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980.

___

2:30 a.m.

The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe says it will be closed to the public on Wednesday because of “ongoing uncertainty” in the capital.

The embassy announced the closure on Twitter early Wednesday, shortly after at least three explosions were heard in Harare and military vehicles were seen in the streets. The embassy says it will remain “minimally staffed.”

Tensions are high after Zimbabwe’s army commander threatened to have the military step in and calm political turmoil and the ruling party accused him of “treasonable conduct.”

Zimbabwe for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

___

1:55 a.m.

At least three explosions have been heard in Zimbabwe’s capital as military vehicles are seen in the streets.

The Associated Press has seen armed soldiers assaulting passers-by. Soldiers have been seen loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles.

Tensions are high in the capital, Harare, after the country’s army commander threatened to have the military step in and calm political turmoil and the ruling party accused him of “treasonable conduct.”

Zimbabwe for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

___

8:35 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party is accusing the country’s army commander of “treasonable conduct” for his threat to have the military step in and calm political turmoil.

The statement issued Tuesday night says the unprecedented comments made a day earlier by army commander Constantino Chiwenga were “clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability” and were “meant to incite insurrection.”

The statement comes hours after The Associated Press saw three tanks with several soldiers in a convoy on a road heading toward an army barracks just outside the capital, Harare.

While it is routine for tanks to move along that route, the timing heightens unease in a country that for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Tensions rose last week after Mugabe fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had the military’s support.

___

5:30 p.m.

Zimbabwe is on edge as armed personnel vehicles are seen outside the capital a day after the army commander threatened to “step in” to calm political tensions over the president’s firing of his deputy.

The Associated Press saw three armed personnel vehicles with several soldiers in a convoy on a road heading toward an army barracks just outside the capital, Harare.

While it is routine for armed personnel vehicles to move along that route, Tuesday’s timing heightens unease in this country that for the first time is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe last week fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and accused him of plotting to take power. Over 100 senior officials allegedly backing Mnangagwa have been listed for disciplinary measures by a faction associated with Mugabe’s wife.

___

AP journalist Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg contributed to this report.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon