The end for Mugabe: Zimbabwe’s dictator is detained by military in ‘bloodless correction’ of power amid claims his hated wife has fled to Namibia as deposed vice-president returns from exile

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
By Paul Martin

Robert Mugabe, 93, and his family have been detained after Zimbabwe’s military staged ‘bloodless correction’
Tanks and soldiers seen on the streets of the capital Harare and loud explosions were heard in the city centre
It came as the military delivered a TV address denying that there had been a coup and that Mugabe was ‘safe’
Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, sacked by Robert Mugabe last week, has returned from exile
Armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets and Britons and Americans have been advised to stay indoors
There are claims that Mugabe’s wife has fled to Namibia after being allowed to leave the country last night
South African President Jacob Zuma has spoken to Mugabe and says he is ‘fine’ but ‘confined to his home’

15 November 2017

Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe has been detained by the military in a ‘bloodless correction’ of power amid claims his wife has fled to Namibia.

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.

Deposed vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars who was sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, is believed to have returned from exile. His dismissal had left Mugabe’s wife Grace, 52, in prime position to succeed her husband as the next president – a succession strongly opposed by senior ranks in the military.

South African president Jacob Zuma said this morning he had spoken to Mugabe and that the 93-year-old leader is ‘confined to his home’ but ‘fine’.

Meanwhile, opposition MP Eddie Cross has told the BBC that he believes Grace Mugabe has fled to Namibia having been allowed to leave the country last night. The claim was repeated by Nick Mangwana, a representative of ruling party Zanu-PF, but has not been confirmed by the army.

Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, said he believes the army will now be in negotiations with both Mugabe and Mnangagwa.

‘The easiest way to present a veneer of legality is that Mugabe reappoints Mnangagwa as vice president, briefly – Mugabe then retires.’ Under Zimbabwe’s constitution, the first vice president would automatically become acting president for 90 days.

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