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Zimbabwe Military Place President Mugabe Under House Arrest :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Zimbabwe Military Place President Mugabe Under House Arrest

The military in Zimbabwe has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare as the situation turns into a coup. South African President Jacob Zuma is said to have spoken with President Mugabe on phone who told him he was fine but under restriction at his home.
The military in Zimbabwe has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare as the situation turns into a coup.

South African President Jacob Zuma is said to have spoken with President Mugabe on phone who told him he was fine but under restriction at his home.

“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine. South Africa is also in contact with the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF),” a statement issued by the South African Presidency reads in part.

The statement says President Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), is sending Special Envoys to Zimbabwe and Angola in light of the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe.

“The President is sending the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Minister of State Security, Bongani Bongo to Zimbabwe to meet with President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Forces.”

The Special Envoys, according to the statement, will also meet President Joao Lourenco of Angola, who is the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, to brief him on the situation in Zimbabwe.

President Zuma has called for calm and restraint and for the ZDF to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined in Zimbabwe.

Troops continue to Harare after they seized state broadcaster and said they were targeting "criminals" around President Mugabe, but not the 93-year-old veteran leader himself.

The current situation in Zimbabwe, which Mugabe has ruled since independence in 1980, started just over a week ago when the veteran leader sacked his deputy, Emerson Mnangagwa accusing him of “disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability.”

Mnangagwa, himself a veteran of the liberation war, is popular within the military which appears to be opposed to moves by Mugabe to prepare his wife, Grace, to succeed him.

Heavy gun and artillery fire was reported in northern parts of Harare where senior government officials, including Mugabe, live.

Major General Sibusiso Moyo, the ZDF spokesperson appeared on TV after the takeover to say Mugabe and his family were "safe and sound and their security is guaranteed".

He, however, said the army was seeking to "pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation" in the country.

Talk of a military takeover in Zimbabwe may be a sign that Mugabe's power has waned, 37 years after he took over as head of government following the end of a brutal war for independence. His economic policies, especially after forceful takeover of white-owned farms in the early 2000s, brought Zimbabwe on the brink, but he maintained an iron hand on the leadership of both the country and its military.

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