Zimbabwe - Social Media Abuzz With Rumours of Imminent Coup - Claims Mugabe Residence Under Siege

Photo: The Herald
The army, maintaining a presence in Harare, are calling for peace and calm.
analysis

Zimbabwe appears to have staggered a step closer to a military coup, amid rumours that military vehicles have already rolled out of army bases heading for the capital Harare and that soldiers are laying siege to President Robert Mugabe at his residence. By PETER FABRICIUS.

Reuters reported that witnesses had seen four armoured vehicles heading towards Harare on Tuesday and that another witness had seen two others parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about 20km from the city.

Other reports claimed that the army had been besieging Mugabe in his residence for two days. In chronically rumour-prone Zimbabwe, none of the reports could be confirmed.

The rumours were nonetheless inspired by a hard and disturbing fact - military chief General Constantine Chiwenga's public threat on Monday that the military would "step in" to stop Mugabe purging leaders of the liberation movement. This was a clear reference to vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, strongly supported by the military, whom Mugabe fired last week, apparently at the behest of his wife Grace.

Chiwenga- flanked by army chief General Philip Sibanda, the acting air force chief and most of the rest of the military's top brass - said the gains of...

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