Zim Defence Force calls on war veterans to ensure peace

Army spokesperson Sibusiso Moyo addressed Zimbabweans on live television on Wednesday morning, denying reports of a coup while confirming its pursuing what it calls criminals around Mugabe.

Zimbabwean soldiers at an intersection in Harare on 15 November 2017. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - While reports persist of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and his family being placed under house arrest, the country’s war vets have called the overnight developments, a correction of a state that was careening off a cliff.

The leader of Zimbabwe’s influential liberation war veterans called for South Africa, southern Africa and the West to re-engage with Zimbabwe.

Chris 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.

Army spokesperson Sibusiso Moyo addressed Zimbabweans on live television on Wednesday morning, denying reports of a coup while confirming its pursuing what it calls criminals around Mugabe.

“What the Zimbabwean Defence Force is doing is to pacify degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which, if not addressed, may result in a violent conflict. We call upon all the war veterans to play a positive role in ensuring peace.”

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International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela says South Africa, in its capacity as chair of the SADC region, will continue to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe.

“We’re very much interested in what’s happening in our neighbouring country. So as we’re talking now, there are regular briefings that we’re getting. There visitors from that country in South Africa as we speak, who I’m not at liberty to name, who have come and briefed my political principals on the developments there.

“And based on those briefings, we’ll then decide what’s the next best way forward to take.”

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Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s official opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change says that the government’s silence on the latest developments speaks volumes.

The party’s deputy president Nelson Chamisa says: “Silence of the government spokesperson does indicate that there’s something that’s brewing.”

He says a tensions are building up in the country.

“The kind of noise that’s coming out of cockpit is giving hope to Zimbabweans that perhaps we maybe be able to have some kind of breakthrough.”