Announcement by military on state broadcaster says President Robert Mugabe and family are safe but army is ‘targeting criminals around him’

Tension has been building within Zimbabwe since Mugabe last week fired Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice-president, accusing him of plotting to take power from the 93-year-old president.

But Mugabe’s critics saw the sacking as part of a plan to ensure that Grace Mugabe, the president’s wife, could become vice-president and, ultimately, succeed her husband as ruler.

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.”

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A military spokesman, appearing on ZBC some hours after reports that troops had taken control of the state broadcaster, insisted the safety of Mugabe and his family was “guaranteed”:

We are only targeting criminals around who him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.

to pacify a destabilising situation, to remedy the country’s suffering.

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