The military in Zimbabwe has denied staging a coup against President Robert Mugabe and maintained that they are just targeting criminals around him.
According to a statement read on national TV by Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo, the president and his family are safe and that their security is guaranteed.
“To both our people and those beyond our borders we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of the government what the Zimbabwe defense force is doing is to pacify a degenerating political and social-economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict,” said Gen Sibusiso.
“We wish to assure the nation that his Excellency the president of Zimbabwe and commander in chief of Zimbabwe defense forces and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.
We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic crimes that are causing social and economic suffering. As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normal,” he said.
The announcement came after the military took control over the capital and the national television station on Tuesday.
Zimbabawe’s political crisis deepened last week with the dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, clearing the way for Mugabe’s wife to succeed him.
Mugabe (93) has been in power since 1980 when the country gained independence from the UK.