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Zuma calls for calm amid tensions in Zimbabwe following apparent coup

Nov 15, 2017
Zuma calls for calm amid tensions in Zimbabwe following apparent coup

President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has noted with great concern the unfolding of the political situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean military has allegedly taken control of state institutions, saying that it is targeting criminals in government who are bent on destabilizing the country.

President Zuma has called for calm and restraint and has expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions.

“The President has urged the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Defence Force to resolve the political impasse amicably and has urged the Zimbabwean Defence Force to ensure that the maintenance of peace and security in the country is not compromised,” the Presidency said on Wednesday.

The Presidency said SADC will continue to closely monitor the situation and remains ready to assist where necessary to resolve the political impasse in keeping with established SADC Protocols and processes. 

On Wednesday, Chief of staff in the Zimbabwe National Army, Sibusiso Moyo, appeared on state television, saying that the position taken by the military since the statement made by Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Constantino Chiwenga Monday had reached "another level".

General Chiwenga on Tuesday accused the ruling party ZANU-PF of being infiltrated by counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy it.

He issued a warning that the army would intervene if President Mugabe continued his tactics in an effort to help his wife, Grace Mugabe, succeed him as ZANU PF and Zimbabwean president in party and national elections due next year.

The Zimbabwean Chief of staff, Moyo, assured all Zimbabweans and the international community that this was not a military takeover and that President Mugabe and his family are safe and their security is guaranteed.

"We are only targeting criminals around him (President Robert Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice," he said.

Last week, President Mugabe fired his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on allegations of disloyalty and deceit. The two had been political allies for more than 40 years.  

Zimbabweans have been urged to minimize movement with exception of those, who offer essential services and businesses.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Mugabe to resign and pave way for elections.

SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua-NNN