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Zimbabwean army cuts roads to government offices

15 November 2017

Zimbabwe's military says it has launched an operation to "target criminals" around President Robert Mugabe, but insisted that the 93-year-old president and his family are safe.

Occasional gunfire was heard in the early hours of the morning in the posh northern suburbs where most key government people live. Firstly, we wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander-in-chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG Mugabe, and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.

In the broadcast, Moyo spoke of targeting "criminals" around the president who are "committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice".

The US State Department said it was "closely monitoring" the situation in Zimbabwe and urged all parties to resolve disputes "calmly and peacefully".

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Mr. Chombo is a prominent member of a faction of the ZANU-PF party supporting Mr. Mugabe's wife, Grace's bid to succeed her husband.

The Army last night announced that they had taken over government business, with the intension of dealing with President Mugabe's ministers who were misleading the aged leader.

"We will not fold out hands to allow a creature of the constitution to subvert the very constitution which establishes it", said Kudzai Chipanga, who leads the Zanu-PF Youth League, said at the party's headquarters in Harare.

But the Zanu-PF party said Chiwenga's comments were meant to "incite insurrection" and that it "reaffirms the primacy of politics over the gun" and accused him of "treasonable conduct".

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Chiwenga made his comments on Monday, a week after Mugabe fired his ally, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, as vice president and expelled him from the ruling party.

Witnesses reported tanks and armed personnel carriers moving on roads outside the capital; however, Harare was calm and embassies issued no security alerts for their citizens.

"We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in", General Chiwenga said. Mugabe, who helped free the country from white minority rule in 1980, has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence.

The United States on Wednesday encouraged its citizens residing here to "shelter in place" amid political turmoil in the country. Reuters said another two military vehicles were parked 20 miles (32km) from Harare.

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This followed months of incessant attacks on Mnangagwa by First Lady Grace Mugabe and her backers such as Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo and Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere. It's looking increasingly likely Robert Mugabe will indeed be ousted from power in the near future, and he's getting Grace Mugabe out of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean army cuts roads to government offices