Zimbabwe latest: President Mugabe overthrown?

* Zimbabwe's army takes over the national broadcaster, ZBC
* It says the action "targeted criminals", but denied it was a coup
* It said President Robert Mugabe was safe
* The army had challenged Mr Mugabe after he sacked the vice-president

Zimbabwe's ruling party: No coup, 'bloodless transition'
Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, has posted a series of tweets, denying there has been a coup, but adding there had been a "bloodless transition" of power.

“Zimbabwe has not had a coup. There has been a decision to intervene because our constitution had been undermined, in the interim Comrade E Mnagngawa will be president of ZANU PF as per the constitution of our revolutionary organisation.”

“Last night the first family was detained and are safe, both for the constitution and the sanity of the nation this was necessary. Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife. Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.”

“There was no coup, only a bloodless transition which saw corrupt and crooked persons being arrested and an elderly man who had been taken advantage of by his wife being detained. The few bangs that were heard were from crooks who were resisting arrest, but they are now detained”

“ZANU PF has a way of solving our own problems, the situation is stable and Zimbabwe is open for business. There was no coup, but a bloodless peaceful transition- the centre is strong and there is peace with honest leadership.”

'This has all the elements of a coup'
Despite the comments made by the military and Zanu PF, the BBC's Shimgai Nyoka said the situation in Zimbabwe had "all the elements of a coup".
"There was gunfire and explosions in several suburbs in areas overnight including where senior government officials reside and where President Mugabe's private residence is.

"The army say he's safe and his security and that of his family is guaranteed.

"They deny it's a coup as they haven't usurped his power. They say they have targeted the people around him and he'll be restored to the presidency as soon as their mission is accomplished."

Mugabe a 'president in name'
A former adviser to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has told the BBC that he believes the military's claim that they haven't carried out a coup is untrue.

"They have decided not to call it a coup because they know that a coup does not sell, it will be condemned," Alex Magaisa said.

"But as far as authority is concerned, it seems very clear that President Mugabe is now just a president in name and authority is now residing in the military."

Zimbabwe opposition calls for 'peaceful' return to democracy
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has called for a peaceful return to constitutional democracy following the army takeover.

MDC, the main political challenger to Mugabe's ZanuPF party for the last two decades, also said it hoped the military intervention would lead to the "establishment of a stable, democratic and progressive nation state".

'Criminals' around Mugabe
The statement added: "We are only targeting criminals around him [Mr Mugabe] who are committing crimes".

The statement did not name those targeted but a government source quoted by Reuters said Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo was among those detained.

It is not clear who is leading the military action.

Army statement read on TV
Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo read out a statement on TV came hours after soldiers overran the headquarters of ZBC. He said: "We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president... and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed."

Zimbabwe army TV takeover - a coup?
In Zimbabwe, the army has taken over national broadcaster, ZBC. IN a statement, it said its action was to "target criminals", but denied this was a military takeover of government". President Robert Mugabe, it said, was safe but did not say where. We will bring you the latest as we get it.



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