Zimbabwe: Who is saying what?

Zimbabwe’s army seized control of the country on Tuesday night, claiming it was removing “criminals” around Robert Mugabe.

An army spokesman said on Wednesday that the army is holding Mugabe for his own safety. 

There is no official word from the Mugabe family as to their whereabouts.

Among this unexpected series of events, the following are the latest reactions:  

From Zimbabwe: 

  • Zimbabwe War Veterans call for Mugabe to removed: “Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe should be removed as the country’s leader and as first secretary of the ruling Zanu-PF party,” the Secretary-General of Zimbabwe’s War Veterans Association, Victor Matemadanda, said on Wednesday.

  • Victor Matemadanda, recently told Al Jazeera the ongoing expulsions were a strong indication that Mugabe was acting in his own interests and those of his wife.
  • ZANU-PF party rejects the move: “We will not fold our hands to allow a creature of the constitution to subvert the very constitution which establishes it,” Kudzai Chipanga, leader of the ZANU-PF party’s Youth League, said on Tuesday. 

  • Chipanga stated the party wanted to see a peaceful, constitutional “democratisation” of Zimbabwe following the army move.

  • Army commander Constantino Chiwenga said on Monday, November 13, that the military would act if purges against former war liberation fighters did not cease.

  • Army statement:Mugabe “safe and sound”: “Comrade R G Mugabe and his family, are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him,” Major General SB Moyo said on Wednesday. 

  • “As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.” 

Media:

  • Al Jazeera’s Haru describes the situation as tense: ” The atmosphere, if I can describe, is tense . I’m Zimbabwean, I was born after independence from Britain. I’ve never experienced this kind of feeling in the air.

  • “At the moment, people are just wondering what is going to happen next . A South African plane from Johannesburg is also expected soon, and people are coming and going from the airport. It’s not as busy as it usually is, but it is open and it is functioning.” 

  • Army seized state TV: On Wednesday, November 15, the Zimbabwe army seized state TV and blocked off access to government offices.

Embassies: 

  • Spanish embassy asks citizens to be cautious: Due to the political situation in Zimbabwe, extreme precautions are recommended in the city of Harare and surrounding areas.

International reactions: 

  • Mugabe told Zuma he was confined to home but fine: South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma spoke to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday, and Mugabe told Zuma that he was confined to his home but that he was fine, the South African presidency said in a statement.

  • In a statement posted online, the office also said South Africa is in touch with the Zimbabwe military. “President Zuma has reiterated his call for calm and restraint and for the ZDF [military] to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined in Zimbabwe.”

  • China is closely watching the situation in Zimbabwe and hopes that relevant parties can properly handle their internal affairs, its foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. 
  • South African President Jacob Zuma expressed hope on Wednesday that there would not be unconstitutional changes of government in Zimbabwe after the military seized power in Harare.

  • Mohamed Nasheed: Maldivian politician, human rights and environmental activist wrote:

General reactions: 

SABC news, the digital news portal of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, wrote: 

Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher , wrote that there are unconfirmed reports of arrests of cabinet ministers and prominent people. 

Former  Zimbabwean Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, retweeted: 

Mawarire a priest, citizen, and author wrote: