THE atmosphere in the country has been tranquil and serene despite the military holding President Robert Mugabe and his family hostage, while embarking on an operation to arrest his close associates.
Military tanks and armoured personnel carriers rolled into Harare on Tuesday night, securing strategic points such as government offices, parliament and sealing off Mugabe’s Blue Roof mansion in an operation which also saw the military storming some ministers’ houses.
The army seized national broadcaster ZBC before Major-General Sibusiso Moyo went on air around 4am on Wednesday denying there was a coup. He said they were targeting “criminals” around Mugabe.
Moyo also said the army had moved in “to pacify a degenerating, political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict”.
Despite the tranquillity in the country, the army has, however, been vicious on people netted during the blitz including Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, Central Intelligence Organisation director of security Albert Ngulube and Zanu PF youth league secretary Kudzanayi Chipanga.
At Chombo’s house, an aide was killed when soldiers stormed his Mount Pleasant home before spraying bullets in the house.
Gunshots were also fired at ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere’s houses.
Ngulube was arrested near Mugabe’s home, just after briefing Mugabe on the security situation in the country.
He reportedly stopped when he saw army tankers going in the direction of Mugabe’s home and asked the troops where they were going.
The soldiers, however, seized him as he was among a group of people targeted for capture to ensure Mugabe is isolated from his key security and political personnel.
“They took his cellphone, watch and gold chain and later detained and interrogated him. He was heavily battered. He has some cracks on his head and could have died,” said an official.
An official said a military officer, who was not happy with Ngulube’s beating, informed senior army officials of his plight, resulting in the intervention of top commanders to secure his release.
Ngulube was released on Wednesday, taken to hospital and later home.
Chombo and Chipanga were also tortured.
The situation in other parts of the country has also been calm with no sign of conflict.
There was a pronounced presence of military personnel and tanks in Harare on Wednesday but the army has been gradually scaling down since then.
The army has been manning some roadblocks and directing traffic in some instances, but soldiers manning the checkpoints have been treating motorists well.
SOURCE BULAWAYO 24
My wife Grace ‘is being harassed… she cries daily’, Mugabe tells AU
Harare – Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe says his wife is being harassed and cries daily, three months after he was forced to step down in the wake of a military takeover, a newspaper reported Friday.
Mugabe told the African Union’s Moussa Faki Mahamat during a courtesy call he made to the Mugabes’ Harare mansion this week that he doesn’t feel safe.
“They told you I was safe, but how can I be in this environment?,” Mugabe reportedly told Faki, who is chairperson of the AU commission.
“My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her… What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe,” the Zimbabwe Independent quoted Mugabe as saying, citing “detailed notes” supplied by officials who attended the meeting.
Mugabe said his wife was being harassed over her PhD from the University of Zimbabwe. Last week UZ Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura was arrested for alleged abuse of office for awarding her the degree in 2014. Critics say her thesis is nowhere near PhD standard.
‘Ruling through guns’
Mugabe reportedly insisted to Faki the PhD was genuine: “I used to see her here working hard day and night. I would assist her here and there, so how can someone wake up and claim she didn’t work for it? This is harassment.”
According to the leaked notes, Mugabe told Faki that Mnangagwa’s appointment as president was illegal, and appealed to the AU to help restore democracy in the country.
“We want you to assist to restore normalcy and democracy in the country and stop this thing of ruling through guns,” he reportedly said.
UK to deport at least 2 500 ‘illegal’ Zimbabweans
Harare – Britain has reportedly announced its intention to deport at least 2 500 Zimbabweans living illegally in that country.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Lang, recently told Zimbabwean Deputy President Kembo Mohadi that her government intended to deport illegal Zimbabweans in that country.
The announcement came as Theresa May said that her government was “determined to reduce the number of immigrants coming into the country by thousands”.
In his response, Mohadi said that the southern African country had no problem taking back its nationals but it needed to check them to ensure they were truly Zimbabweans.
“… We said we want to vet them before they leave the UK. We want to know whether or not they are Zimbabweans or if they are not fugitives who had run away from justice,” Mohadi was quoted as saying.
Britain was Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler.
Around 20 000 British citizens lived in Zimbabwe while at least 112 000 Zimbabweans lived in Britain, according to an AFP report.
Britain provided around $114m in aid to Zimbabwe every year.
Relations between the two countries went rocky under ex-president Robert Mugabe, particularly over the controversial land reform programme.
SOURCE NEWS 24