Criminals Prof Moyo And Kasukuwere Arrested, Mzembi Flees

FOREIGN affairs minister Walter Mzembi confirmed Wednesday that he was a fugitive as cabinet colleagues and G40 allies Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere were reportedly picked up by the military.

 

by Gilbert Nyambabvu

Also detained was finance minister Ignatius Chombo amid social media rumours claiming that he was found with US$10m in cash at his Harare home.

Moyo and Kasukuwere had been holed up at President Robert Mugabe’s private mansion in the capital. They were reportedly extracted from the property late Wednesday and detained at the army’s KG6 barracks.

Meanwhile, Mzembi, who was out of the country as the military takeover unfolded, confirmed that he was now a fugitive.

The minister, a Mugabe favourite, was recently promoted to the foreign affairs portfolio after his unsuccessful bid to become secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

“I just got a surprise solidarity call from UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and Hon Charles Banda of Zambia,” Mzembi told a global travel publication Wednesday.

He did not disclose his whereabouts, but added; “I am touched by the expression of empathy and sympathy for my well-being and that of my family under these difficult circumstances.

“It really got to the bottom of my heart that a country I carried the cross for most recently in the UNWTO elections could be seeking to create a fugitive out of me!

“I trust that wisdom will prevail in the name of diplomacy to amicably end this crisis to the satisfaction of all.”

On the run … Walter Mzembi

All four ministers are key figures in the G40 Zanu PF faction which was thought to be pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from her 93-year-old husband President Robert Mugabe.

The succession plot collapsed spectacularly this week with the military declaring a takeover of power, putting President Mugabe under house arrested and declaring that;

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

As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

The military insisted that the power grab was not a coup and continued to address Mugabe as President and Commander in Chief in a move seen as calculated to ward off international condemnation and possible intervention.

The pretence appeared to be working with the global reaction deploring the development but falling short of outright condemnation. Most countries urged calm and a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

And as Zimbabweans waited warily for the military to announce the new political dispensation in the country, regional diplomatic efforts went into motion.

South African President Jacob Zuma revealed that he had spoken to Mugabe who indicated that he was safe but confined to his Harare home.

The Pretoria government said it was dispatching two ministers to Harare for talks with the Zimbabwean leader and the military while the regional SADC grouping was due to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in Botswana Thursday.

Criminals Prof Moyo And Kasukuwere Arrested, Mzembi Flees

FOREIGN affairs minister Walter Mzembi confirmed Wednesday that he was a fugitive as cabinet colleagues and G40 allies Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere were reportedly picked up by the military.

 

by Gilbert Nyambabvu

Also detained was finance minister Ignatius Chombo amid social media rumours claiming that he was found with US$10m in cash at his Harare home.

Moyo and Kasukuwere had been holed up at President Robert Mugabe’s private mansion in the capital. They were reportedly extracted from the property late Wednesday and detained at the army’s KG6 barracks.

Meanwhile, Mzembi, who was out of the country as the military takeover unfolded, confirmed that he was now a fugitive.

The minister, a Mugabe favourite, was recently promoted to the foreign affairs portfolio after his unsuccessful bid to become secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

“I just got a surprise solidarity call from UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and Hon Charles Banda of Zambia,” Mzembi told a global travel publication Wednesday.

He did not disclose his whereabouts, but added; “I am touched by the expression of empathy and sympathy for my well-being and that of my family under these difficult circumstances.

“It really got to the bottom of my heart that a country I carried the cross for most recently in the UNWTO elections could be seeking to create a fugitive out of me!

“I trust that wisdom will prevail in the name of diplomacy to amicably end this crisis to the satisfaction of all.”

On the run … Walter Mzembi

All four ministers are key figures in the G40 Zanu PF faction which was thought to be pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from her 93-year-old husband President Robert Mugabe.

The succession plot collapsed spectacularly this week with the military declaring a takeover of power, putting President Mugabe under house arrested and declaring that;

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

As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

The military insisted that the power grab was not a coup and continued to address Mugabe as President and Commander in Chief in a move seen as calculated to ward off international condemnation and possible intervention.

The pretence appeared to be working with the global reaction deploring the development but falling short of outright condemnation. Most countries urged calm and a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

And as Zimbabweans waited warily for the military to announce the new political dispensation in the country, regional diplomatic efforts went into motion.

South African President Jacob Zuma revealed that he had spoken to Mugabe who indicated that he was safe but confined to his Harare home.

The Pretoria government said it was dispatching two ministers to Harare for talks with the Zimbabwean leader and the military while the regional SADC grouping was due to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in Botswana Thursday.

Criminals Prof Moyo And Kasukuwere Arrested, Mzembi Flees

FOREIGN affairs minister Walter Mzembi confirmed Wednesday that he was a fugitive as cabinet colleagues and G40 allies Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere were reportedly picked up by the military.

 

by Gilbert Nyambabvu

Also detained was finance minister Ignatius Chombo amid social media rumours claiming that he was found with US$10m in cash at his Harare home.

Moyo and Kasukuwere had been holed up at President Robert Mugabe’s private mansion in the capital. They were reportedly extracted from the property late Wednesday and detained at the army’s KG6 barracks.

Meanwhile, Mzembi, who was out of the country as the military takeover unfolded, confirmed that he was now a fugitive.

The minister, a Mugabe favourite, was recently promoted to the foreign affairs portfolio after his unsuccessful bid to become secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

“I just got a surprise solidarity call from UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and Hon Charles Banda of Zambia,” Mzembi told a global travel publication Wednesday.

He did not disclose his whereabouts, but added; “I am touched by the expression of empathy and sympathy for my well-being and that of my family under these difficult circumstances.

“It really got to the bottom of my heart that a country I carried the cross for most recently in the UNWTO elections could be seeking to create a fugitive out of me!

“I trust that wisdom will prevail in the name of diplomacy to amicably end this crisis to the satisfaction of all.”

On the run … Walter Mzembi

All four ministers are key figures in the G40 Zanu PF faction which was thought to be pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from her 93-year-old husband President Robert Mugabe.

The succession plot collapsed spectacularly this week with the military declaring a takeover of power, putting President Mugabe under house arrested and declaring that;

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

As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

The military insisted that the power grab was not a coup and continued to address Mugabe as President and Commander in Chief in a move seen as calculated to ward off international condemnation and possible intervention.

The pretence appeared to be working with the global reaction deploring the development but falling short of outright condemnation. Most countries urged calm and a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

And as Zimbabweans waited warily for the military to announce the new political dispensation in the country, regional diplomatic efforts went into motion.

South African President Jacob Zuma revealed that he had spoken to Mugabe who indicated that he was safe but confined to his Harare home.

The Pretoria government said it was dispatching two ministers to Harare for talks with the Zimbabwean leader and the military while the regional SADC grouping was due to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in Botswana Thursday.

Mugabe Agrees To Step Down After Negotiations With The Military

President Robert Mugabe has agreed to step down as president of Zimbabwe after negotiations between his representatives and those representing the military. The negotiations were held at state House after the military refused to meet with President Mugabe at his “Blue Roof” home in Borrowdale because it was his residence and not for official business. Roman Catholic Priest Father Fidelis Mukonori was one of the mediators.  The other mediators were South African Minister for Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the South African State Security Minister Bongani Bongo.

This comes after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) seized power from Mugabe in the early hours of Wednesday. The military kept insisting that this is not a military takeover of government as it is only targeting the criminals around the president who had caused untold suffering to Zimbabweans because of their corruption.

Mugabe agreed to resign after his demands for safe passage for his family were granted by the military.

Earlier reports said that Mugabe had been insisting that the action taken by the military was illegal and that he was still the legitimate head of state. He wanted the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to admit that their conduct was illegal. Mugabe and his advisors are reported to have been insisting that he should finish his term as President

A source who spoke to Reuters earlier said:

It’s a sort of stand-off, a stalemate. They are insisting the president must finish his term.

The generals, on the other hand, would have none of it and wanted former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to be reinstated to his previous positions of Vice President of Zimbabwe and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF.-Online

Breaking: Simba Chikore Resigns As Air Zimbabwe CEO

Simba Chikore today relinquished his post as CEO of Air Zimbabwe. Chikore is Mugabe’s son-in-law and he has been at the helm of the airlines for a little more than one year. Given the predicament that Robert Mugabe is in, it was expected that his fall would also result in the fall of his son-in-law.

More to follow….

Tsvangirai Returns to Zimbabwe Amid Military Coup

MDC -T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

MDC -T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

ZIMBABWE’S defeated ex-prime minister has returned to the country as politicians eye opportunities for power while President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who was made Mr Mugabe’s deputy between 2009 and 2013 after he saw a surge in support in elections, was on the same plane into Harare as Sky News.

Sky correspondent David Bowden reported that also on the plane were two other government ministers, who were returning to their country from Russia.

It came after the army seized power in the country in what the leader of the African Union said looked like a “coup”.

Mrs Mugabe has made no secret of her desire to succeed her husband
Grace Mugabe has made no secret of her desire to succeed her husband

Mr Mugabe is being detained in the presidential palace, where explosions and gunshots were heard early on Wednesday.

The army said it was holding the president and his wife Grace, but there have also been rumours she had fled to Namibia.

Bowden said: “People are gathering here to see how this plays out and what they can grab from the spoils.”

 

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai, who was defeated by Mr Mugabe in 2013, has returned to Zimbabwe

He added: “As we left the airport there were heavily armed soldiers on checkpoints, checking every vehicle in, and every vehicle out.

“As we moved through the streets driven by a local activist we came upon an armoured personnel carrier full of soldiers who quickly raced out and chased us round the corner as soon as they realised we were filming them.

“We were convinced they might open fire – but they didn’t. It gives you an idea of the tension on the streets here… but it’s a tension laced with expectation.

A woman in military uniform walks past a billboard for the ZANU PF in Harare

 Zimbabwe: The people and politics behind the takeover

“People seem to think that something concrete is going to happen. They don’t know what it is but they do know that once it plays out Zimbabwe will not be the same as it has been for the last 37 years.”

Earlier, African Union leader Alpha Conde, said: “The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe.”

He went on to insist that “constitutional order… be restored immediately” and called “on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for calm, non-violence and restraint after gunfire and explosions were heard near Mr Mugabe’s compound.

Grace Mugabe

 ‘Gucci Grace’: Who is Zimbabwe’s first lady?

On Monday, the head of the armed forces had warned that a “purge” of government political figures who had taken part in the 1970s wars of independence had to “stop”.

The sacking of the vice president and Mr Mugabe’s likely successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, last week, was seen as clearing the way for Mrs Mugabe to take over from her husband, after she won the support of ZANU-PF’s youth wing.

The military said it was taking control of the streets, blocking roads to the parliament and court to target “criminals”.

The head of the youth wing of Zimbabwe’s ruling party appeared on state television on Wednesday night, to apologise to the military.

 Zuma: South Africa sending an envoy to Zimbabwe

Kudzai Chipanga said he had voluntarily given his statement apologising for denigrating defence forces chief General Constantino Chiwenga.

Bowden said many people he had spoken to felt it could be the end of Mr Mugabe, who had maintained an iron grip on the southern African former British colony for 37 years.

He said: “Everybody you speak to doesn’t know the outcome of what is going to happen here – but everybody knows this is a seminal moment in the history of this country.

“It seems as though this is the endgame for Robert Mugabe. Now all we need to know is how it is managed.

“Does he leave the country saving face? Does he stay here as some kind of titular head with the government being run by somebody else? It’s unknowable.” – news.sky.com

Arrested Mugabe Resisting Army Pressure to Quit

President Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source said on Thursday, and is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup.

Soldiers are seen on the armoured vehicle outside the parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

The priest, Fidelis Mukonori, is acting as a middle-man between Mugabe and the generals, who seized power on Wednesday in a targeted operation against “criminals” in his entourage, a senior political source told Reuters.

The source could not provide details of the talks, which appear to be aimed at a smooth and bloodless transition after the departure of Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.

Zimbabwean intelligence reports seen by Reuters suggest that former security chief Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was ousted as vice-president this month, has been mapping out a post-Mugabe vision with the military and opposition for more than a year.

Armoured vehicle is seen outside the parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Fuelling speculation that that plan might be rolling into action, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been receiving cancer treatment in Britain and South Africa, returned to Harare late on Wednesday, his spokesman said.

South Africa said Mugabe had told President Jacob Zuma by telephone on Wednesday that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family, including wife Grace, safe.

 Despite the lingering admiration for Mugabe, there is little public affection for 52-year-old Grace, a former government typist who started having an affair with Mugabe in the early 1990s as his first wife, Sally, was dying of cancer.

Dubbed “DisGrace” or “Gucci Grace” on account of her reputed love of shopping, she enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF in the last two years, culminating in Mnangagwa’s removal a week ago – a move seen as clearing the way for her to succeed her husband.

In contrast to the high political drama unfolding behind closed doors, the streets of the capital remained calm, with people going about their daily business, albeit under the watch of soldiers on armored vehicles at strategic locations.

Whatever the final outcome, the events could signal a once-in-a-generation change for the former British colony, a regional breadbasket reduced to destitution by economic policies Mugabe’s critics have long blamed on him.-rueters

Arrested Mugabe Resisting Army Pressure to Quit

President Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source said on Thursday, and is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup.

Soldiers are seen on the armoured vehicle outside the parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

The priest, Fidelis Mukonori, is acting as a middle-man between Mugabe and the generals, who seized power on Wednesday in a targeted operation against “criminals” in his entourage, a senior political source told Reuters.

The source could not provide details of the talks, which appear to be aimed at a smooth and bloodless transition after the departure of Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.

Zimbabwean intelligence reports seen by Reuters suggest that former security chief Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was ousted as vice-president this month, has been mapping out a post-Mugabe vision with the military and opposition for more than a year.

Armoured vehicle is seen outside the parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Fuelling speculation that that plan might be rolling into action, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been receiving cancer treatment in Britain and South Africa, returned to Harare late on Wednesday, his spokesman said.

South Africa said Mugabe had told President Jacob Zuma by telephone on Wednesday that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family, including wife Grace, safe.

 Despite the lingering admiration for Mugabe, there is little public affection for 52-year-old Grace, a former government typist who started having an affair with Mugabe in the early 1990s as his first wife, Sally, was dying of cancer.

Dubbed “DisGrace” or “Gucci Grace” on account of her reputed love of shopping, she enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF in the last two years, culminating in Mnangagwa’s removal a week ago – a move seen as clearing the way for her to succeed her husband.

In contrast to the high political drama unfolding behind closed doors, the streets of the capital remained calm, with people going about their daily business, albeit under the watch of soldiers on armored vehicles at strategic locations.

Whatever the final outcome, the events could signal a once-in-a-generation change for the former British colony, a regional breadbasket reduced to destitution by economic policies Mugabe’s critics have long blamed on him.-rueters

Arrested Mugabe Resisting Army Pressure to Quit

President Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source said on Thursday, and is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup.

Soldiers are seen on the armoured vehicle outside the parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

The priest, Fidelis Mukonori, is acting as a middle-man between Mugabe and the generals, who seized power on Wednesday in a targeted operation against “criminals” in his entourage, a senior political source told Reuters.

The source could not provide details of the talks, which appear to be aimed at a smooth and bloodless transition after the departure of Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.

Zimbabwean intelligence reports seen by Reuters suggest that former security chief Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was ousted as vice-president this month, has been mapping out a post-Mugabe vision with the military and opposition for more than a year.

Armoured vehicle is seen outside the parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Fuelling speculation that that plan might be rolling into action, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been receiving cancer treatment in Britain and South Africa, returned to Harare late on Wednesday, his spokesman said.

South Africa said Mugabe had told President Jacob Zuma by telephone on Wednesday that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family, including wife Grace, safe.

 Despite the lingering admiration for Mugabe, there is little public affection for 52-year-old Grace, a former government typist who started having an affair with Mugabe in the early 1990s as his first wife, Sally, was dying of cancer.

Dubbed “DisGrace” or “Gucci Grace” on account of her reputed love of shopping, she enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF in the last two years, culminating in Mnangagwa’s removal a week ago – a move seen as clearing the way for her to succeed her husband.

In contrast to the high political drama unfolding behind closed doors, the streets of the capital remained calm, with people going about their daily business, albeit under the watch of soldiers on armored vehicles at strategic locations.

Whatever the final outcome, the events could signal a once-in-a-generation change for the former British colony, a regional breadbasket reduced to destitution by economic policies Mugabe’s critics have long blamed on him.-rueters