World Mugabe’s Feud With Zimbabwe’s Military Grows Amid Coup Rumors

07:30  15 november  2017
07:30  15 november  2017 Source:   The New York Times

Fate of Zimbabwe's Mugabe hangs in the balance amid coup confusion

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HARARE, Zimbabwe — Allies of Zimbabwe ’ s president, Robert G. Mugabe , vowed on Tuesday that his government and the governing Neither the military nor Mr. Mugabe issued any public statements on Tuesday even as rumors of a possible coup surfaced on social media and in the streets of Harare.

[ November 14, 2017 ] Tanks head to Harare amid rumour of a coup under way in Zimbabwe Main. – ‘A turning point’ – “( Mugabe ) has previously warned the military to stay away from ZANU-PF’ s succession race.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, arrived at ZANU-PF party headquarters last week during a rally in support of Mrs. Mugabe becoming the next vice president. © Jekesai Njikizana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, arrived at ZANU-PF party headquarters last week during a rally in support of Mrs. Mugabe becoming the next vice president.

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s military leaders made good on a threatto intervene in the country’s politics early Wednesday when two uniformed officers appeared on television, apparently after seizing control of the state broadcaster, to address the nation.

The predawn appearance came after a long night of rumors and sketchy reports in Harare, the capital, that a coup might be underway against the government of the country’s longtime president, Robert G. Mugabe.

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  Zimbabwe army chief criticizes infighting in ruling party Zimbabwe's army commander Monday criticized the instability in the country's ruling party caused by President Robert Mugabe who last week fired a vice president. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe's army commander Monday criticized the instability in the country's ruling party caused by President Robert Mugabe who las Zimbabwe Defense Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga issued a written statement, days after Mugabe fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was widely backed by the army and was once viewed as a potential successor to the president.

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One of the officers, Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, reading from a statement, said that the action was not a military takeover, and that “Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.”

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“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” General Moyo said, warning that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”

Hours earlier, the United States Embassy said on its website that “as a result of the ongoing political uncertainty through the night, the ambassador has instructed all employees to remain home tomorrow.”

American citizens, the embassy said, “are encouraged to shelter in place until further notice.”

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Zimbabwe has staggered a step closer to a military coup , amid rumours that tanks have already rolled out of army bases heading for the capital Harare and that soldiers are laying siege to President Robert Mugabe at his residence.

[ November 14, 2017 ] Zimbabwe reeling after army chief’ s warning to Mugabe Main. [ November 14, 2017 ] Mugabe Gets Youth Wing Backing After Military Criticism Headlines. [ November 14, 2017 ] Mugabe ’ s faction strategist rubbishes General Chiwenga Headlines.

The streets of Harare were largely empty as rain fell.

Asked in a telephone interview about reports of a possible coup, the country’s information minister, Simon Khaya Moyo, said: “What can I say? I don’t know about that.” He did not elaborate.

The question of who will succeed Mr. Mugabe, 93, the nation’s leader since 1980, has long haunted Zimbabwe and its political class and led to conflicts among its members even as the country’s once-promising economy shriveled.

A long-simmering feud boiled over last week when Mr. Mugabe summarily expelled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the government and the governing ZANU-PF party, a move that was widely seen as clearing the path for Mr. Mugabe’s wife, Grace, as a possible successor.

Since his removal, the whereabouts of Mr. Mnangagwa, who like Mr. Mugabe was a veteran of the country’s struggle for independence, has been shrouded in mystery.

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BREAKING: Tanks roll into Zimbabwe capital as Robert Mugabe faces military COUP . TANKS have been seen storming towards Zimbabwe ' s capital amid rumours dictator Robert Mugabe is facing a military coup .

In a remarkable act of defiance, the commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga, warned on Monday that “when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.”

Neither the military nor Mr. Mugabe issued any public statements on Tuesday even as rumors of a possible coup surfaced on social media and in the streets of Harare. But Mr. Moyo, asserted in a statement that “the ruling ZANU-PF reaffirms the primacy of politics over the gun.”

Mr. Moyo, who is also the party’s national secretary for information and publicity, said the statement by General Chiwenga “suggests treasonable conduct on his part as this was meant to incite insurrection and violent challenge to constitutional order.”

“Purporting to speak on behalf of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces,” he said, “was not only surprising but was an outrageous vitiation of professional soldiership and his wartime record as high-ranking freedom fighter, entrusted with command responsibilities in a free and democratic Zimbabwe.”

Mr. Moyo’s statement, broadcast during the evening news hour on state television, came hours after a leader of the party’s Youth League made similar remarks at the ZANU-PF headquarters in Harare.

Kudzanayi Chipanga, the youth league’s secretary, suggested that military officers unhappy with the government should first return to civilian life if they wanted to become politicians.

“General Chiwenga and all those in the security sector who wish to engage in politics are free to throw their hats in the ring and not hide behind the barrel of the gun,” said Mr. Chipanga, a favorite of Zimbabwe’s first family.

The youth league accused the general of siding with a faction loyal to Mr. Mnangagwa. The league has urged that Mrs. Mugabe be endorsed as the new vice president in a party conference scheduled for next month.

The Latest: Zimbabwe army says 'this is not a takeover' .
<p>Zimbabwe's army has announced that "this is not a military takeover" and that President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe and sound.</p>

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