Soldiers allegedly take over headquarters of Harare’s national broadcaster ZBC

  • Soldiers allegedly take over headquarters of Harare’s national broadcaster ZBC
15-11-2017 | Pratidin Bureau. |

Amid a growing political crisis soldiers are reported to have taken over the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s national broadcaster, ZBC. Explosions have also been reported in the capital, Harare, but the cause is unclear.

Surprisingly, in the only official word from the government, Isaac Moyo, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to neighbouring South Africa, dismissed talk of a coup. He said the government was intact and blamed social media for spreading false information.

The Southern African nation has been on edge since Monday when Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga had challenged President Robert Mugabe after he sacked the Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chiwenga said he was prepared to step in to end a purge of supporters of sacked Vice President.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party accused Chiwenga of treasonable conduct. Tensions were raised further on Tuesday when armoured vehicles were seen taking up positions on roads outside Harare.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has said it is closely monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe and urged all parties to resolve disputes calmly and peacefully. The US embassy in Harare tweeted that it would be closed today due to ongoing uncertainty and advised US citizens in Zimbabwe to shelter in place until further notice.

There has been no word so far from 93-year-old President Mugabe or his representatives. Mugabe sacked Vice-President last week, amid a row over succession. Emmerson Mnangagwa had previously been seen as an heir to the president, but First Lady Grace Mugabe is now the clear front-runner. The rivalry between Mrs Mugabe and Mnangagwa has split President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.

Tags : Soldiers Harare ZBC Constantine Chiwenga Robert Mugabe

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