Zimbabwe Bri­tons told to stay in­side

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

BRI­TISH na­tion­als in Zimbabwe’s cap­i­tal Harare are be­ing ad­vised to stay in­doors amid re­ports of “un­usual mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity”.

The For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice (FCO) is­sued the guid­ance in the early hours of this morn­ing fol­low­ing po­lit­i­cal ten­sions in the African coun­try.

Zimbabwe’s army has said it has Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe and his wife in cus­tody and is se­cur­ing gov­ern­ment of­fices and pa­trolling the cap­i­tal’s streets fol­low­ing a night of un­rest that in­cluded a mil­i­tary takeover of the state broad­caster.

The night’s ac­tion trig­gered spec­u­la­tion of a coup but the mil­i­tary’s sup­port­ers praised it as a “blood­less cor­rec­tion”.

Armed sol­diers in ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers sta­tioned them­selves at key points in Harare, while Zim­bab­weans formed long lines at banks in or­der to with­draw the lim­ited cash avail­able, a rou­tine chore in the coun­try’s on­go­ing fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

In an ad­dress to the na­tion af­ter tak­ing con­trol of the Zimbabwe Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, an army spokesman said that the mil­i­tary was tar­get­ing “crim­i­nals” around Mr Mu­gabe, and sought to re­as­sure the coun­try that or­der would be re­stored.

The pres­i­dent sacked his deputy Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa last week, with the 93-year-old leader hav­ing pre­vi­ously ac­cused Mr Mnan­gagwa of plot­ting to oust him.

Mr Mnan­gagwa fled Zimbabwe but said he would re­turn to lead the coun­try.

It was not clear where Mr Mu­gabe and his wife were to­day but the army spokesman said: “Their se­cu­rity is guar­an­teed.”

He added: “We wish to make it abun­dantly clear that this is not a mil­i­tary takeover.

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

Overnight, at least three ex­plo­sions were heard in the cap­i­tal, Harare, and mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles were seen in the streets.

Army com­man­der Con­stantino Chi­wenga now ap­pears to be in con­trol.

Mr Mu­gabe’s rul­ing ZANU-PF party re­sponded by ac­cus­ing the gen­eral of “trea­son­able con­duct”.

But the army has been praised by the na­tion’s war vet­er­ans for car­ry­ing out “a blood­less cor­rec­tion of gross abuse of power”.

Chris Mutsvangwa, chair­man of the war vet­er­ans’ as­so­ci­a­tion, said the mil­i­tary would re­turn Zimbabwe to “gen­uine democ­racy” and make the coun­try a “mod­ern model na­tion”.

The US Em­bassy closed to the pub­lic to­day and en­cour­aged cit­i­zens to take shel­ter, cit­ing “the on­go­ing po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty through the night”.

The Bri­tish Em­bassy is­sued a sim­i­lar warn­ing. The FCO guid­ance said: “Due to the un­cer­tain po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Harare, in­clud­ing re­ports of un­usual mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity, we rec­om­mend Bri­tish na­tion­als cur­rently in Harare to re­main safely at home or in their ac­com­mo­da­tion un­til the sit­u­a­tion be­comes clearer.”

THE of­fi­cial line-up for this year’s I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! has been con­firmed by ITV.

Boxer Amir Khan, Boris John­son’s fa­ther Stanley John­son, Corona­tion Street ac­tress Jen­nie McAlpine and Hol­lyoaks ac­tor Jamie Lo­mas are among the stars go­ing into the jun­gle for the real­ity TV se­ries.

They will be joined by Made In Chelsea’s Ge­or­gia “Toff”Tof­folo and Satur­days singer Vanessa White.

Co­me­dian Shappi Khor­sandi, YouTube per­son­al­ity Jack May­nard, ex-foot­baller Den­nis Wise and Re­bekah Vardy, wife of England

The army spokesman on TV

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.