Embattled Zimbabwean President, Mr. Robert Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest in Harare, the capital city, by the military.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that this was disclosed by South African President, Mr. Jacob Zuma.
The BBC, quoting Mr. Zuma’s office, also reported that Mr. Mugabe told the South African President on the phone that he was fine.
“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today, who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” said the statement issued by the South African President’s office.
Major-General Sibusiso Moyo, a Zimbabwean Army officer, said on television that after the takeover to say “Mr. Mugabe and his family were safe and sound and their security is guaranteed”.
Military troops continued their patrol of Harare streets on Wednesday, after their seizure of state television. Heavy gun and artillery fire was heard in northern parts of Harare early on Wednesday.
The troops claimed to be targeting criminals in a move widely suspected to be a ploy to replace the ageing and ailing Mr. Mugabe with his sacked deputy, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mr. Mnangagwa, long regarded as Mr. Mugabe’s successor, was dismissed last week, leaving the President’s wife, Grace, as her husband’s successor.
SaharaReporters learnt that the coup was successfully executed y a faction of ZANU-PF led by ousted VP Mnangagwa which was known as “Lacoste”, the faction had been contending with another faction led by Mrs. Mugabe dubbed “G-40.”
The country’s Army chief, General Constantino Chiwenga, on Monday, said the army was prepared to act to end purges within the ruling Zanu-PF party.
The 93-year old Zimbabwean leader has been in power since independence in 1980, rendering the once promising country an economic and human rights sinkhole.
Nigeria’s President, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, called on military and political stakeholders in the country to maintain peace and respect the country’s constitution so as to avert a violent conflict that may spark instability in the Southern Africa region.
China, Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, says it is closely watching the situation and hopes that the relevant parties can properly handle their internal affairs.