The night’s action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military’s supporters praised it as a “bloodless correction.”
In an address to the nation after taking control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, an army spokesman said early Wednesday the military is targeting “criminals” around Mugabe, and sought to reassure the country that order will be restored.
It was not clear where Mugabe, 93, and his wife were Wednesday but it seems they are in the custody of the military. “Their security is guaranteed,” the army spokesman said
The spokesman added
“as soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.” The army spokesman called on churches to pray for the nation.
He urged other security forces to “cooperate for the good of our country,” warning that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
The statement called on troops to return to barracks immediately, with all leave canceled.
Overnight, at least three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets.
The military actions appear to put the army in control of the country.
Army commander Constantino Chiwenga had threatened on Monday to “step in” to calm political tensions. Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party responded by accusing the general of “treasonable conduct.” But now Chiwenga appears to be in control.