There have been explosions and gunfire overnight as the Zimbabwe military moved tanks and troops into Harare late yesterday afternoon.
A soldier appeared on national television in the early hours of this morning, leading to speculation that the army has taken over the state broadcaster.
In a televised statement, the General said that President Mugabe was safe but that the army is targeting criminals around him who are causing suffering to the state.
He also issued a warning to other Security Services urging them to cooperate for the good of Zimbabwe. “Let it be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
The United States Embassy in Harare has warned US citizens in the country to stay at home today (15/11/2017) and the embassy has been closed.
The British embassy in Zimbabwe has also warned citizens to stay indoors “until the situation becomes clearer” amid growing political turmoil and military vehicles in the capital.
Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and tensions escalated when he fired his long time ally Emmerson Mnangagwa.
This led to the Zimbabwe army chief on Monday demanded a “stop” to the purge in the ruling Zanu-PF party after the sacking of vice president Mnangagwa, and warned the military could intervene.
“The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith,” General Constantino Chiwenga told a media conference attended by about 90 senior army officers at army HQ.
In an unprecedented warning, he said in a statement: “We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.”