Zimbabwe Update: Mugabe negotiate for exit of wife

A fresh report from the troubled Zimbabwe indicates that President Robert Mugabe may have succeeded in negotiating with the country’s military for his wife, Grace, to leave for neighbouring South Africa in return for his giving up the power on Friday, Nov. 17.

Grace, wife of the embattled President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

Grace, wife of the embattled President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

The Bulawayo24 quotes a security source as telling the African News Agency (ANA) that Mugabe, 93, will announce his departure from power at a press conference.

However, Sky News reports that Grace Mugabe fled to Namibia.

“Mugabe has negotiated for Grace to leave the country while he prepares to step down during a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

“Soldiers indeed have the president and his presidential guard under siege. Zimbabweans are urged to stay away from the CBD tomorrow,” the source said.

In the ensue bloodless coup, there were reports that some armed soldiers were assaulting passers-by in the early morning hours in Harare, as well as soldiers loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles.

The seizure of power from 93-year-old Mugabe came one week after he sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move widely seen as meant to clear the path for his wife, Grace, as his likely successor.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is calling for calm in Zimbabwe as the country’s military takes over its government. Buhari wants the military to recognise the country’s constitution.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

Buhari urged all political and military stakeholders in Zimbabwe to avoid any action that could plunge the country into unnecessary conflict and impact negatively on the region

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“Every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability,” Nigerian President added.

Also, the United States embassy in Zimbabwe has issued an alert to the public that it would shut down activities early following the uncertainty that has taken over the country.

In a Twitter message too, the British government urged its citizens in the country to stay indoors and avoid becoming victims.

Similarly, the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, says it is difficult to see how the crisis in Zimbabwe would end, describing the situation as ‘very fluid’.

CNN quoted him as saying: “It is hard to say how this will turn out”. He added that everyone “wants to see a stable and successful Zimbabwe.”

The Youth wing of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, has however reacted to the military take over, saying its members would not fold their arms and watch the army take over the country from a duly elected president.

Kudzai Chipanga, the leader of the Zanu-PF youth wing said in a lengthy statement that the youths of Zimbabwe have noted with shock and disappointment by the “threats made against the legitimate and popularly elected leader.

“AS the youth of Zimbabwe and as the young people whose future will be determined by the actions taken in the present, we have noted with shock, displeasure and disappointment the press statement of the commander of the Defence Forces, General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga, issued yesterday.

“We, as Zanu-PF Youth League, are a lion which has awakened and found its voice, therefore we will not sit idly and fold our hands whilst cheap potshots and threats are made against the legitimate and popularly elected leader of the revolutionary party Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Head of State and Government and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

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“This statement is therefore issued without regret, fear or compunction.

“Defending the revolution and our leader and president is an ideal we live for and if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for.

“From the outset, we would like to make it clear that we have every respect for the armed forces in this country and cherish their role in protecting and safeguarding the country and its revolution,” the lengthy statement read in part.

A report also has it that Zimbabwe Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sacked and sent into exile last week by Mugabe returned to the country in the early hours Wednesday following the seizure of power by the military.

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