Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the country for over 37 years, since independence from the UK, has been removed from power and his former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who he sacked some days back, has been installed as an interim president.
The move comes after the Zimbabwe army seized power overnight with gunshots and explosions heard in the capital. The 93-year-old dictator was arrested along with his wife by the army in the capital Harare.
A leading South African news website has reported that Mugabe is now preparing to step down. News24 also claims that he has made negotiations for his wife Grace to leave the country.
Former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who Mugabe fired some days back, will now take power according to the ruling ZANU PDF Party. The party also issued a series of tweets this morning, saying there was not a military coup – just a “bloodless transition”.
The statements read: “Last night the first family was detained and are safe, both for the constitution and the sanity of the nation this was necessary. Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife. Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.”
“There was no coup, only a bloodless transition which saw corrupt and crooked persons being arrested and an elderly man who had been taken advantage of by his wife being detained. The few bangs that were heard were from crooks who were resisting arrest, but they are now detained.
“ZANU PF has a way of solving our own problems, the situation is stable and Zimbabwe is open for business. There was no coup, but a bloodless peaceful transition- the centre is strong and there is peace with honest leadership.”
In other tweets, Zanu PDF Party continued to reiterate that it was not a coup. The situation in the country is tense. Observers report that people are going about their business, taxis are running but everywhere is unusually quiet.