Zimbabwe crisis: Unprecedented scenes were witnessed in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare as several armoured vehicles of Army were seen rolling on the streets of this African country. Pressure mounted over whether President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, will stay in power. Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, however, assured that they were not launching a coup but were “targeting criminals around” the President. Tensions between the 93-year-old leader and the military have intensified in recent days.
Here is all you want to know about Zimbabwe crisis:
1. The US embassy in Zimbabwe today warned its citizens in the country to “shelter in place” due to “ongoing political uncertainty” as the crisis threatening President Robert Mugabe’s government deepened. “As a result of the ongoing political uncertainty through the night, the Ambassador has instructed all employees to remain home (Wednesday),” the embassy in Harare said in a statement.
2. The British foreign office earlier said it was “aware of reports of military vehicles moving on the outskirts of Harare” and said it was monitoring the situation closely.
3. In an incendiary statement, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party accused army chief General Constantino Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct” for challenging Mugabe over the recent sacking of the vice president.
4. The public dispute has presented a major test of whether 93-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, still has a firm grip on power.
5. “As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. To the civil servants, as you are aware, there is a plan by the same people to influence the current purging that is taking place in the political sphere to the civil service. We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that. To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to assure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed,” Zimbabwe military official said.
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6. Earlier, prolonged gunfire erupted near Mugabe’s private residence in the suburb of Borrowdale early Wednesday, a witness told AFP. The shooting came after Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party on Tuesday accused army chief General Constantino Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct”.