ROBERT MUGABE UNDER HOUSE ARREST, WIFE GRACE IN NAMIBIA.
ROBERT Mugabe has been removed from power and placed under house arrest with his family in what has been described as a “bloodless transition” as the military continues to deny reports of a coup.
The move comes after the Zimbabwe army seized power overnight with gunshots and explosions heard in the capital.
President Robert Mugabe, 93, is allegedly now preparing to step down, a few hours after the Zimbabwean military took over power, a leading South African news website has reported.
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. ”
News24 also claims that he has made negotiations for his wife Grace to leave the country. A source claims Mugabe negotiated with the military for his wife to leave the country and obtain “safe haven” in return for him giving up power.
Opposition MP Eddie Cross believes the First Lady has already fled to Namibia after being allowed to leave the country last night by the army.
He added that her choice of exile had been limited after she allegedly assaulted a model in the South African city of Johannesburg in August.
Former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will now take control according to the ruling ZANU PF Party.
A twitter account associated with the party issued a series of tweets this morning, saying there was not a military coup – just a “bloodless transition”. But it is not clear whether the Twitter profile is an official account.
The statements from the unverified account 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.”
Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, was sacked from his post as vice-president for what the government called “traits of disloyalty”.
His removal was seen as making it more likely that President Mugabe’s wife, Grace, would follow in her husband’s footsteps as leader of Zimbabwe.
She had earlier called on her husband to remove his vice-president.
It is not yet clear whether Mugabe will step down or if Mnangagwa is now the country’s leader following the military action last night.
Zanu PF’s UK representative Nick Mangwana says President Robert Mugabe is still in charge – but the ruling party, which has been divided over who should succeed the 93-year-old leader, was being “realigned” as a result of the army’s action.
He also went on to say Mrs Mugabe was “insignificant” to Zanu PF, adding that she was a “junior member of the party” and only had power by virtue of being President Robert Mugabe’s wife.
And although he admitted ti was not normal for the army to takeover in a democracy, there was nothing normal about the power agreement in the south African country.
He said: “We have 93-year-old president, that is not usual, we do not have our own currency.”
Gunfire and explosions broke out in Harare, Zimbabwe following a warning by a military chief that the armed forces are ready to ”step in” to the political row, witnesses have reported.
Pictures taken this morning show large armoured vehicles and soldiers appearing to block traffic in the capital.
Witnesses said APCs moved from Inkomo barracks north of Harare toward the headquarters of Mugabe’s presidential guard.
Infrastructure in the capital, including phones and power lines, remained working as normal.
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