'Cabinet ministers, Zanu PF officials detained'

HARARE - A number of Cabinet ministers and senior officials in government and the ruling Zanu PF party considered to be part of President Robert Mugabe’s inner circle have either been put under house arrest or detained by the army, which has taken charge of the country’s affairs.

While the detentions could not be confirmed by the military, reports from international media organisations such as the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation and Reuters say the military detained Finance minister Ignatius Chombo, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo.

The trio was not reachable for comment yesterday.

A key ally of Mugabe and Zanu PF youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga was also said to have been arrested yesterday.

Unconfirmed reports also claimed yesterday that Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao who was recently made the minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has skipped the country and so has Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi, who was said to be on a working visit in Zambia.

Throughout the day yesterday, speculation was rife that many of Mugabe’s close associates had gone into hibernation.

This follows the army’s announcement yesterday that they had taken over the levers of government and that their mission was to root out “criminals” around Mugabe.

The detentions, however, appear to be targeted at influential members of the Generation 40 (G40) camp, whose rivalry with the Team Lacoste faction has resulted in the current stalemate.

Proponents of the G40 faction, among them First Lady Grace Mugabe, Moyo and Kasukuwere have repeatedly accused Team Lacoste leader, fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, of seeking to grab power by force.

This led to the sacking of Mnangagwa last week by Mugabe on allegations of plotting to unseat him from power using unconstitutional means. Following Mnangagwa’s sacking, it became apparent that the G40 camp was now pushing for Grace to succeed the deposed vice president — a development that did not go down well with the military and a section of war veterans who preferred Mnangagwa to succeed the incumbent.

The army’s action followed mounting speculation throughout the day that a coup was underway against Mugabe, after the head of the armed forces General Constantino Chiwenga threatened to “step in” over the sacking of influential Zanu PF figures with liberation war backgrounds.

Yesterday, Zimbabweans woke up to discover the military was running the show and had even seized State television to announce that it had begun a manhunt for close Mugabe allies whom they accused of causing “social and economic suffering” of Zimbabweans.

The army has, however, insisted that Mugabe and his family are safe, adding that they had not carried out a coup but that they were targeting “criminals” surrounding the Zimbabwean head of State.

“It is not a military takeover of government,” army spokesperson Major General Sibusiso Moyo said in a televised statement.

“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,” he said.

Government spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, who also doubles up as Zanu PF’s information tsar, refused to comment on the situation in the country yesterday.

Police spokespersons Charity Charamba and Paul Nyathi were not immediately available for comment as their phones were repeatedly unreachable.

    Comments (6)

    The army should be congratulated for removing criminals around trhe president, in order to halt the country's otherwise inevitable slide into anarchic insolvent ignominy.. The difficulty lies in defining their crimes, and so naming the said culprits. With so many to choose from, it is hard to imagine how it can be all but a clean sweep. What is the crime that is sought? Surely to take what is not rightfully theirs. In this case most of the hangers-on around the president must be guilty. Let's therefore hope for a brand new dawn, when Zimbabwe can be rebuilt as a prosperous democratic nation which abides by justice and looks to the advancement of all, the poor first.

    mikeytha - 16 November 2017

    The army should be congratulated for removing criminals around trhe president, in order to halt the country's otherwise inevitable slide into anarchic insolvent ignominy.. The difficulty lies in defining their crimes, and so naming the said culprits. With so many to choose from, it is hard to imagine how it can be all but a clean sweep. What is the crime that is sought? Surely to take what is not rightfully theirs. In this case most of the hangers-on around the president must be guilty. Let's therefore hope for a brand new dawn, when Zimbabwe can be rebuilt as a prosperous democratic nation which abides by justice and looks to the advancement of all, the poor first.

    mikeytha - 16 November 2017

    So the G40 'cabal' have been proved right that ED wanted to grab power by force. He had plenty opportunity to throw his hat in the ring but was too cowardly to do that so he used Chiwengwa instead. Mugabe needs to recruit Joycelyn to come to his rescue. How can people with dirty hands arrest others with equally dirty hands when they have been in unison over-fishing from the same poverty stricken zim waters? Zimbabwe needs a transitional government without the G40 or Lacoste main players in it and made up of technocrats, professionals recruited to come and execute a turn around strategy and prepare the ground for a free and fair election. All people with something to say should be given space to lay out their program. All we know is just personality fights, no one has put anything on the table for the masses to interrogate or discuss. For all we know ED and Chiwengwa and Chris Mutsvangwa have already sold what remains of the family silver to the Chinese

    Galore - 16 November 2017

    irf the army generals are genuine about arresting criminals then ED must have been the first followed by Tyson and friends.to us the the generality of zimbabwe its cleaer as water that Lacoste had lost a political battle and then roped in the army of which the genera himself is a lacoste player,to fprce their way into power.we all agree that bob must go but we do not agree on ED replacing him. if its genuine democracy that the army is seeking then a neutral player must lead the interim govt while waiting for elections next year

    patso - 17 November 2017

    DONT BE FOOLED BY THESE MILITANTS IN THE GUISE OF SAVING THE NATION WHILST THEY ARE JUST SAVING ZANU PF FROM COLAPSING, ALL THEIR HANDS ARE DIRTY. YOU SHALL SEE THAT ITS A WOLF IN SHEEP SKIN,

    schwartz - 17 November 2017

    I support what the army has done. If this scuffle was something by the liberation heroes the army was not going to intervene. The bitch spoiled everything for tyrant Robert G. Mugabe. I believe if it was Mugabe's first wife Sally, things would n't have reached these heights. That's why they say in English little education is very dangerous. Education laked from the bitch's head. She wants everything including what she did not work for. Being the President's wife was enough rather than indulging into all the shit she created.

    yauzo - 17 November 2017

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