On 15 November, Zimbabwean soldiers were deployed on the streets of Harare and seized control of the state broadcaster and several other institutions. This came after President Robert Mugabe sacked his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and accused the head of the military, General Constantino Chiwenga, of “treasonable conduct“.
Harare right now… pic.twitter.com/HusHKik1sX
— Trends SADC ™ (@Trends_SADC) November 15, 2017
Army vehicles were seen patrolling Harare and reportedly caused three explosions. The country’s national police force also reportedly recalled all police officers on leave. The army has denied reports of a coup and said that it is only pursuing “criminals” around Mugabe.
According to experts and officials, the coup may result in a delay in Zimbabwe’s elections and the establishment of a unity government, which will involve opposition parties. Political analysts are speculating that South Africa could have been aware of the tension that unfolded in Zimbabwe and might support the imposition of this unity government.
This is exceptionally important. I would not be surprised if South Africa even had forwarning of what was to unfold; rumours that a caretaker government to be imposed & which will be supported by RSA https://t.co/vVwQuPgH5g
— Ryan Cummings (@Pol_Sec_Analyst) November 15, 2017
Students and workers were advised to remain at home as uniformed forces took over the country, according to reports.
Many prominent and political figures took to social media to voice out their concerns over the threatening military act in the country, calling for calm and stability in the country.
This morning I am praying for peace in my beloved #Zimbabwe. I am praying for reflection, introspection and Gods hands of blessing upon our nation. Not the time for vengeance or retribution. Our country needs all of us. 🇿🇼
— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) November 15, 2017
Another lesson from the #Zimbabwe crisis to leaders everywhere else is never get too drunk or arrogant with https://t.co/A56UgNGHGI are supposed to be servants of the people.They are not your doormat.
— KevinSifisoMalunga (@KevinMalunga) November 15, 2017
When Mugabe started the land revolution I had much admiration for him. He did what many were afraid to. But he soon went the way of despots. Taking advantage of the woundedness of the continent’s people
— Firebrand (@simphiwedana) November 15, 2017
— Michael Mumisa (@MichaelMumisa) November 15, 2017
To my friends and followers who have been asking. #Zimbabwe is calm and life goes on for most ordinary citizens. Streets are safe and most children are in school. We continue praying for the Almighty’s Blessings and Mercy for our nation and the globe at large.
— Mufti Ismail Menk (@muftimenk) November 15, 2017
President Jacob Zuma has also called for peace in the neighbouring country and said that he hopes there won’t be any unconstitutional changes in Zimbabwe’s government. Zuma also said he will be sending defence minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and state security minister, advocate Bongani Bongo to meet with Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF).
In a press statement released by the Economic Freedom Fighters, the party called for Mugabe to hand over his political power to the next generation. “Zimbabwe has experienced a lot of pain and destabilization over of the past two decades, lost its currency and displaced millions of its citizens due to economic hardships,” it said. The party also called for the ZDF to use nonviolent tactics to maintain order in the country. “The ZDF should make sure that there is no loss of life during the transition, but should decisively suppress agent provocateurs who will try to undermine the long overdue transition,” said the EFF.
The situation in Zimbabwe has currently been described as calm but tense, according to SABC reports.