Harare, 15 November 2017; The 93 years old, Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe remains in detention at his home in Harare, Zimbabwe more than 12 hours after the military declared on national television that it had temporarily taken control of the country to “target criminals” around the head of state. The military declaration announcement was made on Tuesday morning.
The move by the armed forces appears to have resolved a bitter battle to succeed the 93-year-old president, which had pitted his former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, against Mugabe’s wife, Grace. Mnangawa who is Former Justice Minister and vice President until the time he was sacked by Mugabe, was closest allied of the 93 years old Mugabe who rules Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980.
First lady Grace Mugabe is reportedly out of country as military says in statement that it is ‘targeting criminals’ around 93-year-old president
Mnangagwa was reported to have returned to Zimbabwe on Tuesday evening from South Africa, where he fled last week after being stripped of his office by Mugabe in an apparent attempt to clear Grace Mugabe’s way to replace her husband who is now aging badly.
The military takeover comes two days after the army chief – flanked by other senior officers – said he was prepared to “step in” to end turmoil in the ruling Zanu-PF party.
The Military takeover is likely to signal the departure from power of the world’s oldest leader within days, weeks or so.
One high-profile opposition leader said there was “a lot of talking going on”, with the army reaching out to them to discuss the formation of a transitional government after Mugabe steps down.
The official said Mugabe would resign this week and be replaced by Mnangagwa, with opposition leaders taking posts as vice-president and prime minister.
"The military takeover will now send strong signal to the leaders in the region the likes of Museveni of Uganda and South Sudan Kiir who surrounded themselves and have enjoyed the military backing for years, however the reading of the time and events won't be on their sides" said unnamed university lecturer in Makerere.