LATEST: MINISTERS ROUNDED AND ARRESTED BY THE ARMY ! | A number of Zimbabwean cabinet ministers have been arrested after the military made a show of force in the capital Harare‚ according to sources.
Loud explosions and the sound of gunfire crackling in the elite neighborhood of Borrowdale throughout the night heightened fears that a military crackdown was under way. Several sources said that the military had arrested the leading figures of the so-called G40 faction in the ruling Zanu-PF‚ led by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Sources said those arrested included higher education minister Jonathan Moyo‚ local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and finance minister Ignatius Chombo.
The military said in a statement that President Robert Mugabe was “safe and sound”. This came after armed personnel first began moving military vehicles into Harare on Tuesday.
The state broadcaster‚ the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation in Pocket Hills in Harare‚ was seized by the military at 4am. Army spokesperson Major General Sibusiso Moyo announced that the military was now in charge for the purpose of ensuring that it dealt with the “criminals” that had surrounded Mugabe.
“We are only targeting criminals around him [Mugabe] who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice‚” Moyo said.
Mugabe has in the past spoken out against any military involvement in civilian affairs and given the stern rebuke that “politics leads the gun” in an attempt to tame his army generals’ interest in political affairs.
However‚ tensions escalated after Mugabe fired his long-time ally and former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa last week on grounds of disloyalty and a plot to take over power from him‚ triggering a pushback by the army generals.