Wednesday, November 15

Mahlatse Ramatseba

Zimbabwe coup latest updates: Robert Mugabe to speak at 11am -people told STAY OFF STREETS

Zimbabwe coup latest updates: Robert Mugabe to speak at 11am -people told STAY OFF STREETS

ZIMBABWE’s army has seized power in Harare and placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest but deny starting a military coup. Here is the latest news and live updates.

10.24am: Mugabe ‘could resign’ following military takeover
Jane Morley, Zimbabwe Analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit said: “The situation in Zimbabwe remains highly fluid following the military takeover on November 14th. 
“There are suggestions that the incumbent, Robert Mugabe, will resign, after which an interim government will take over, and elections held. 
“However, it is far from clear that any such polls would be free and fair. A managed election process would in all likelihood lead to the victory of former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the army's favoured candidate. 
“However, the role of regional groups such as the Southern African Development Community will be crucial. 
“They are unlikely to accept a military coup in Zimbabwe, and even if the military returns to barracks (as it has pledged to do), and elections lead to a Mnangagwa presidency, the army will still have played a key role in determining who leads the country.”
10.07am: US embassy in Zimbabe closes doors to public
The United States embassy in Harare will be closed today (November 15), following the dramatic military takeover overnight.
“Due to ongoing uncertainty in Zimbabwe, the US Embassy in Harare will be minimally staffed and closed to the public on November 15,” a statement read. 
"Embassy personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
10am: Zimbabwe’s Deputy Director Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) arrested
The Deputy Director of Zimbabwe’s CIO has been detained, according to newspaper owner Trevor Ncube. 
Mr Ncube also confirmed the arrest of Kudzai Chipanga, the President of ZanuPF National Youth League.
“Still no word on the National Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri,” he added. 
9.45am: Zimbabwe police on leave told to return to posts
The national police force in Zimbabwe has recalled all officers on leave.
A leading official told the Associated Press that all police on leave have been ordered to return to their posts immediately.
9.37am: Shocking video shows tanks blocking roads in Harare
A stunned Zimbabwe local has filmed military officers with tanks controlling traffic in Zimbabwe.
Commentating on the scenes, the filmmaker said: “There’s a tank along Kirkman Road, closing off Kirkman Road.
“This is military police and a tank… There is a tank blocking Kirkman Road, stopping cars from going outside. 
9.24: Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister detained
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo is reportedly being held after the military seized power in an attempt to root out “criminals” surrounding Robert Mugabe.
9.15am: Zimbabwe’s opposition party demands return to democracy
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Party has called for Zimbabwe to return to democracy.
The party said it hopes the military intervention will herald an ”establishment of a stable, democratic and progressive nation state".
The MDC has been the primary political opposition to Mugabe’s own ZANU PF party for the past 20 years. 
9.08am: South African President calls for calm in Zimbabwe
President Jacob Zuma has called for calm and restraint in Zimbabwe following last night’s military takeover. 
He has urged the government of Zimbabwe and the nation’s military to resolve the political impasse amicably, Reuters report, adding that the South African Development Community will be monitoring the situation closely. 
8.57am: Military chief’s trip to Beijing was a ‘normal military exchange’, says China’s Foreign Ministry
General Constantino Chiwenga met Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan in Beijing on Friday, where Chang expressed a willingness to promote relations with Zimbabwe, according to Reuters. 
Asked whether Chiwenga had briefed China on plans to seize power, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Defence Ministry had already released information about his trip and that he didn't have an understanding about the specifics of his reception in China.
8.51am: Zimbabwean locals rush to banks
The people of Zimbabwe have been photographed rushing to withdraw funds from banks. 
Crowds of locals could be seen queuing outside CBZ bank in Harare, as political uncertainty in Zimbabwe escalates. 
8.42am: Brits told to stay off Zimbabwean streets
Following the military takeover in Zimbabwe, the British Government has advised UK residents to stay off the streets in Harare.
A statement read: “Due to the uncertain political situation in Harare, including reports of unusual military activity, we recommend British nationals currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer. 
“Please continue to monitor our travel advice and embassy social media accounts for updates.”
8.31am: ‘No crisis’ in Zimbabwe, claims ZANU PF Youth League
The youth division of Zimbabwe’s ruling party tweeted: “Contrary to international reports, the gallant Zimbabwean Army has not staged a COUP. 
“There is no COUP in Zimbabwe. Neither is there crisis.
“The army is simply effecting a National Democratic Project and it's doing so with peaceful aplomb.”
8.24am: Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace to leave Zimbabwe
Early reports suggest Grace Mugabe could be allowed to leave Zimbabwe, after her husband was placed under house arrest.
News24’s Adriaan Basson cited “verified reports” that Mugabe has negotiated for Grace to leave the country while he prepares to step down.
The takeover was sparked after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in favour of his wife.
8.20am: Zimbabwe’s National Secretary for Youth Affairs held
The ZANU PF Youth League has confirmed that Cde K Chipanga has been detained. 
The Youth League would want to confirm the detention of Cde K Chipanga,” a statement read.
“His safety has been guaranteed and has implored us to comply with the National Democratic Project which is underway.
“We would also want to commend the military for conducting the NDP with minimal force.”
Chipanga was appointed to the roles of National Secretary for Youth Affairs by Mugabe in September 2016.
8am: Zimbabwe’s ruling party releases statement on takeover 
Former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will now take power in Zimbabwe according to the ruling ZANU PF Party.
The party has denied staging a military coup, instead choosing to call the takeover a “bloodless transaction”. 
In a series of tweets this morning read: “Last night the first family was detained and are safe, both for the constitution and the sanity of the nation this was necessary. Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife.
"Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.
"There was no coup, only a bloodless transition which saw corrupt and crooked persons being arrested and an elderly man who had been taken advantage of by his wife being detained.
"The few bangs that were heard were from crooks who were resisting arrest, but they are now detained.
"ZANU PF has a way of solving our own problems, the situation is stable and Zimbabwe is open for business. There was no coup, but a bloodless peaceful transition- the centre is strong and there is peace with honest leadership."

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