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[LIVE BLOG] Reports of arrests in Zim, Zuma responds to crisis

There’s uncertainty around the political situation in Zimbabwe with the army confirming it's pursuing what it calls 'criminals' around President Mugabe.

KEY POINTS FROM THE STATEMENT:


• Citizens should remain calm and limit unnecessary movement

• The military assures the Zimbabwean judiciary that its independence is guaranteed
.
• Security services should "co-operate for the good of our country" and any provocation would "be met with an appropriate response"
.
• All leave for the defence forces is cancelled and they should return to barracks immediately
.

Stay with EWN as we bring you the latest on this developing story.

“Zimbabweans in their generality are peace loving peace-loving people and they want to us peace.”

General secretary Nicholas Mabhena said.

Zimbabwean Communist Party general secretary Nicholas Mabhena says the army also needs to assure the people of Zimbabwe that they're safe.

Back to our neighbouring country the Zimbabwean Communist Party says the ruling Zanu-PF is to blame for the military take-over.

Back in South Africa, the Inkatha Freedom Party has called for calm in Zimbabwe. 

The UNHCR Southern Africa says they hope things returns to normal soon

The situation in Zim remains calm.

Another report saying Grace Mugabe is believed to have left the country for Namibia.

Arsenal fans just creep up everywhere, in every situation, all saying "Wenger must go!" Yes, even jumping on the Zimbabwe hashtag!

Of course, comedians will creep up in every situation:

Unconfirmed reports now saying Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe has left the country for Namibia.

The EFF wants government to give Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe political asylum. 

“They are now in charge of all armoury, all gates and roads leading in or out of the camp. Arcturus Road (which leads to the camp) is closed and all support unit details with guns have been disarmed,” a source says.

It’s being reported that the Zimbabwean military is in charge of a paramilitary police support unit depot in Harare and has disarmed police officers there.

What do know so far?

Envoy Zuma is sending: Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Minister of State Security, Advocate Bongani Bongo.

Our president, Jacob Zuma says he spoke to Mugabe earlier today and he said he was "confined to his home and is doing fine."

People are Twitter drawing lessons from Zim to South Africa, hmmm...

In South Africa, EFF leader Julius Malema is hopeful that a free and stable Zimbabwe will happen.

Apparently members of the police are being ordered by the Zimbabwe National Army officers to sit down in a queue. 

ALERT: President Jacob Zuma is sending a special envoy to Zimbabwe

WATCH: Zimbabwean protest pastor Evan Mawarire has called on Zimbabweans to stand up and speak up. “This is not a time for us to be silent, it’s a time for us to stand together.” 

Our nation Zimbabwe needs all of us today.

Posted by Evan Mawarire on Wednesday, 15 November 2017

It appears Robert Mugabe has lost the support of the war veterans too.

Chris Mutsvangwa, the leader of the influential liberation war veterans, has called on South Africa, the rest of southern Africa and the West to re-engage with Zimbabwe.

Mutsvangwa hailed the military’s overnight move as the “correction of a state that was careening off a cliff” and said the military administration would usher in a “better business environment” after years of disinvestment and economic decline.

Reuters, quoting an army source, says troops in charge of the paramilitary police support unit depot have disarmed police officers there.

Teddy remembers Bob Marley singing about Zimbabwe in the early 1980s.

The situation at Harare airport.

President Jacob Zuma has responded to the crisis in Zimbabwe. Here is the full statement:

President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of SADC, has noted with great concern the unfolding political situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

President Zuma has called for calm and restraint and has expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of Government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions.

The President has urged the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Defence Force to resolve the political impasse amicably and has urged the Zimbabwean Defence Force to ensure that the maintenance of peace and security in the country is not compromised. 

SADC will continue to closely monitor the situation and remains ready to assist where necessary to resolve the political impasse in keeping with established SADC Protocols and processes


ALERT: International Relations says President Jacob Zuma will make an announcement on the developing situation in Zimbabwe before one o' clock this afternoon.

A report says dismissed former Zimbabwean Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has landed Manyame Airforce Base to take control of the country’s government, a source told African News Agency on Wednesday but this could not be officially confirmed.

UPDATE ON WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR: Soldiers are patrolling key points in Harare .

State broadcaster and other govt offices under army control.

Some people on the Twitter streets are not buying the army's statement that they are not taking over: 

Heavy gunfire and artillery were heard in northern suburbs of the capital, Harare, early on Wednesday.

Back to Zimbabwe now...

Countries including Britain, the US, the UK and Canada have urged their citizens to stay indoors.

“South Africans who are currently in Zimbabwe should continue to go about their business but maintain regular communication with our embassy in Harare but also to be careful and observant.” 


Dirco’s Clayson Monyela said. 

International relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela has advised South Africans in Zimbabwe to be cautious.

The International Relations Department says while it continues to monitor developments in Zimbabwe, it will decide on the next best move possible, based on updates from the troubled country. 

Moving to South Africa now… 

It is not clear who is leading the military action.

The statement from the defence force has not named those targeted. 

I repeat, this is not a coup! Well that's what the army and the Zanu-PF are saying:

The defence force has urged the judiciary to ensure that they act independently without fear. They have also called for calm from the public.

An army spokesperson says the situation will return to normal once their mission is accomplished.

If you were worried about Mugabe's safety, calm down, it’s understood Mugabe is safe and the government remains intact.

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

In an unprecedented step, the head of the armed forces, Constantino Chiwenga, openly threatened to intervene in politics on Monday, a week after Mugabe fired Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa, long seen as Mugabe’s likely successor.

Speculation about Harare’s fate was prompted by images of armoured vehicles driving towards the capital on Tuesday amid tensions within the ruling Zanu-PF.

The army has warned that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response".

The army in Zimbabwe says this is not a coup, but a planned purge of criminals around president Robert Mugabe.

What do we know so far?

Good day and welcome to EWN's live blog about the instability in Zimbabwe. We will be bringing you all of the latest.