ROBERT MUGABE -- Zimbabwe's President

Zimbabwean military early this morning took over the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s national television, an action seen as having the element of a “military coup”.  It was followed by Major-General Sibusiso Moyo’s announcement that the military has taken over control of affairs in the country, but has not staged a coup, and President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe.

The state radio has also been relaying the audio songs feed from the television station, and followed by repeat broadcast of Major-General Moyo’s statement.  Most of the songs were about the war waged by the country’s nationalist guerrillas against white-minority rule.


Visual pictures of the situation in Zimbabwe show soldiers on the streets controlling traffic and other movements.   It was not clear where President Robert Mugabe was been held, or if other cabinet ministers and some senior ruling party, ZANU-PF official has been arrested.  Zimbabwe’s republican police was not visible in the streets.

Foreign missions have offered advisory statements to their citizens in Zimbabwe.  UK Foreign Office advised Britons “currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer”.   US embassy in Harare advised US citizens in Zimbabwe to “shelter in place” until further notice.  And China, Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, said it was closely watching the situation and hopes that the relevant parties can properly handle their internal affairs.


Internal reactions in Zimbabwe in military intervention on affairs of the country have varied.  Eddie Cross, an MP, and a member of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change told the BBC’s Newsday programme that he believed the move by the military was masterminded by former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who President Robert Mugabe sacked a week ago.

Eddie Cross said:  “He was chairman of the Joint Operations Command, which is a military structure here that’s been in existence since independence.  Nothing like this could have happened without him.  He’s a brilliant operator and organizer.  I think very shortly we will hear that Mr. Mugabe has retired from political life and he’s appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa as his successor.”

ZIMBABWE’S ARMY COMMANDER, CONSTANTINO CHIWENGA – Monday, news conference in Harare, threatened the military would “step in” to calm tensions over Mugabe’s firing his Deputy.

Some within the ruling ZANU-PF party seem to welcome the development.  One Tweet ZANU-PF @zanu-pf said:  “Zimbabwe has not had a coup.  There has been a decision to intervene because our constitution had been undermined, in the interim Comrade E Mnangagwa will be president of ZANU-PF as the constitution of our revolutionary organization.”

Another Tweet ZANU-PF @nanu-pf said: “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”.


The past week has seen 93 years Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe, apparently, holding Zimbabwe hostage. Monday, November 6, Robert Mugabe sacked his Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa from office.  Wednesday, November 8, he expelled him from the ruling ZANU-PF party, in what was seen as paving way for the president to name his wife, Grace Mugabe as his successor.

Robert Mugabe followed his actions with sour expressions against Emmerson Mnangagwa, when he said: “You should not try to say because the journey is long, then I should take a short cut to arrive quickly. The road has lions. There are pitfalls. There is death, beware.  There is no short cut to being the leader of the people. Just as there was no short cut to our independence. ZANU-PF would move to discipline Mnangagwa’s ‘co-conspirators’”

Business & Tourism Times reported last week on the situation in Zimbabwe with the title:  “Robert Mugabe:  EXIT WHEN OVATION IS LOUDEST”.