Zimbabwe’s leader Robert Mugabe and his wife have been detained by the military in a ‘bloodless transition’ of power – and the country’s deposed vice-president has returned from exile.
Mugabe’s decades-long grip on power appeared to be over this morning after military vehicles blocked roads outside the parliament in Harare and senior soldiers delivered a late-night television address to the nation.
Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars who was sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, has returned from exile.
It was not clear this morning where Mugabe, 93, and his wife Grace are being held, but the military said last night that their ‘security is guaranteed’.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Zimbabwe had ordered employees and US citizens in the African nation to take cover and seek shelter. British nationals are also being advised to stay indoors amid reports of ‘unusual military activity’.
Last night Zimbabwe’s military stormed the country’s national broadcaster’s studios to declare it is ‘targeting criminals’ amid fears of a coup after reports of explosions and gunfire in the capital.
Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, a leading member of the so-called ‘G40’ faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party led by Mugabe’s wife Grace, had been detained by the military, a government source said.
The front gate to his property was ripped off as he was detained, it has been claimed.