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Report: Zim finance minister detained by army

The news agency is quoting an unnamed government source.

FILE: This picture taken on 19 February 19 2014 shows Zimbabwe finance minister Ignatius Chombo inspecting a leaf as he officially opens the annual Zimbabwe tobacco marketing season in Harare at the Tobacco Sales Floors. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Reuters is reporting that Zimbabwe’s finance minister Ignatius Chombo has been detained by the army.

The news agency is quoting an unnamed government source.

Chombo was moved to his new post during President Robert Mugabe's latest cabinet reshuffle last month.

The source said the army seized power in an attempt to root out “criminals” around Mugabe, who it said were causing social and economic suffering.

The army, has, however denied reports of a coup, after images emerged of armoured vehicles driving into the capital of Harare on Tuesday.

It’s understood Mugabe is safe and the government remains intact.

Zimbabwean defence force spokesperson SB Moyo explains: “Comrade Robert Mugabe is safe and sound. Their security is there, and their safety is guaranteed. We are targeting criminals around him who are causing social and economic suffering."

The International Relations Department's Clayson Monyela says South Africa is monitoring the developments in Zimbabwe and is receiving regular updates from officials in the country.

“As far as the border is concerned, particularly Beit Bridge, we have a strong presence by authorities in this country. They are stationed at that border and the personnel are adequate to deal with anything that may happen.”

Britain and the United States have advised their citizens to stay at home on Wednesday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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