Zimbabwe Military Commander Denies Coup: Only "Targeting Criminals That Cause Economic Suffering In The Country"

Update: News24 reports that Zimbabwe military commander Chiwenga says on state television that this is not a military coup.

Chiwenga goes to say that the military will bring to justice those who are responsible for "social and economic suffering in the country," that Mugabe and his family are safe, and they are targeting "criminals" around the Mugabe family.. promising the situation will return to normal soon.

The commander adds that "this is an attempt to stop a degenerating system, asks veterans to play a responsible role ," and concludes by asking several sectors in society... "churches, traditional leaders.. to play their role during this period and "to the media please report responsibly."

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Update: AFP reports that gunfire was heard close to Mugabe's private residence.

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As we detailed earlier, following at least three explosions across Zimbabwe's capital city tonight - following what appears to be the start of a military coup as tanks rolled in - the US embassy in Harare has been closed. Additionally, reports state that troops have deployed on the streets and have seized the state broadcaster.

As we detailed earlier, The Associated Press said it saw three tanks with several soldiers in a convoy on a road heading toward an army barracks just outside the capital, Harare, while Reuters reported that four tanks were seen heading toward the capital.

And here is Al Jazeera with a brief explainer of the political crisis in Zimbabwe that threatens to sweep Robert Mugabe from his post:

Zimbabwe is facing a political crisis with the ruling Zanu-PF party, as a very public showdown over who is likely to succeed President Robert Mugabe plays out.

 

The current standoff is between the Youth faction, loyal to his wife, Grace Mugabe, and the former liberation fighters, loyal to Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice president who was fired last week. Al Jazeera's Hannah Hoexter explains.

But the situation appears to have escalated notably in the last few hours as The Telegraph reports, several loud explosions echoed across central Harare in the early hours of Wednesday after troops deployed on the streets of the capital and seized the state-owened Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp.

“I was woken up at about 1.10 a.m. by a distant explosion that shook the bed -- two others since then,” Roger Stringer, who lives in Harare’s Mount Pleasant suburb, said by phone.

AP notes that 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."

Additionally, 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. The embassy says it will remain "minimally staffed."

Additionally The US State Department has issued a warning urging all US citizens currently within #Zimbabwe to shelter in place until the current diplomatic crisis is over.

As a result of the ongoing political uncertainty through the night, the Ambassador has instructed all employees to remain home tomorrow.

 

U.S. government personnel have been instructed to shelter in their residences tonight and work remotely from home on November 15. The embassy will be minimally staffed and closed to the public.

 

U.S. citizens in Zimbabwe are encouraged to shelter in place until further notice. Please monitor news and embassy notifications.

 

In case of emergency involving U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens should call Consul Amy Diaz at +263 772 102 179.

 

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Given the relatively closed nature of markets in Zimbabwe there is little evidence in markets to reflect the potential chaos, however we do note that Bitcoin has suddenly surged as the situation has escalated and we have noted previously, cryptocurrencies have become a more ubiquitous solution for money transfer in Zimbabwe in recent weeks...

 

This is the first time since his rule began that Zimbabwe is seeing an open rift between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Comments

JoeTurner Nov 15, 2017 6:03 AM Permalink

Somehow, someway white people must be to blame for this. Blacks are naturally very civilized and enlightened and would have sent astronauts to mars if not for white oppresion.

haruspicio Nov 14, 2017 9:36 PM Permalink

I'm not usually in favor of coups but this one seems just and well timed. The world and Zimbabweans don't need Grace in power when (hopefully very soon) President Mugabe croaks (hopefully in extreme pain). Grace is only 46 so would have another 40 years or so in power if she manages to get her grubby little hands on it. She makes Imedla Marcos look like an ascetic.

directaction Nov 14, 2017 9:33 PM Permalink

Peak oil and widespread resource depletion will soon result in all of humankind living much like they now do in Zimbabwe.

Then things will get much, much worse.

Most of us will witness this awful yet inevitable transition into chaos, starvation, unthinkable sickness and madness.

GoyimUprising Nov 14, 2017 9:10 PM Permalink

Good thing Mugabe just converted all his money to Bitcoin and stashed the secret keys in his penis hole.I invented the greatest diversion safe ever, the Urethra safe.

RussianSniper Nov 14, 2017 8:48 PM Permalink

Send that pompous Ahole, Barky the know it all, along with his tranny, magilla, to mediate the crisis.

Perhaps these savages will allow another clueless tyrant, like obama, 30 years or so to completely FUBAR the former British colony of Rhodesia.

dlfield Nov 14, 2017 8:41 PM Permalink

"As a result of the ongoing political uncertainty through the night, the Ambassador has instructed all employees to remain home tomorrow. U.S. government personnel have been instructed to shelter in their residences tonight and work remotely from home on November 15. The embassy will be minimally staffed and closed to the public."This seems extremely smart to tweet that ALL THE U.S. EMBASSY STAFF will be at home quite unprotected tomorrow.  Enjoy the bar-b-que.

moorewasthebestbond Nov 14, 2017 8:35 PM Permalink

Shits given: 0---Mr. Truman drops atomic bombs on women and children and it my father who is posthumously adjudged a war criminal.At Yalta with a sweep of a pen, a senile president condemns a third of the world to communism.Europe with the zeal of a missionary gone mad, hands over the wealth and resources of Africa to savages who have barely learned to beat a drum.Then you give them tanks and arms to replace their bows and arrows.And when your freezers arrive, they use them to store their enemies until their Sunday dinner.I have the grace not to mention Vietnam.All over your brave new democratic world, inflation spirals as literacy drops.And in America? They vote for law and order whilst shooting down Presidents, schoolchildren, and rock stars in the streets.Johann von TieboltThe Holcroft Covenant (1985)

Hubbs Nov 14, 2017 8:17 PM Permalink

Back at Livinston in the 1990s, Zimbabwe was beautiful, like Windhoek , Namibia and other civilized areas. My girlfriend and I had a blast at the Explorer's club in Livingston- packed with weatern vacationers and Zambezi rafters and Victotia Palace visitors. But when you crossed the bungee bridge across the Zambezi into Zambia, you were confronted with soldiers with AKs, the buildings were in disrepair, the copper telephone wires all stripped off of the poles, etc. Poverty and desolation.
Now things have reversed.