AU Condemns Military Action in Zimbabwe
The AU, African Union, has said the military action in Zimbabwe looks like a coup.
Its head, Alpha Conde, said the AU demands an immediate return to constitutional order.
Following the tension created in Zimbabwe by the ouster of the Vice President and Mugabe long-time loyalist, Emmerson Mnagagwa and suspected takeover attempt by Mugabe’s wife, Grace, the military authority said it has put Mugabe and grace under custody to restore calm in the country.
However, speculations are rife that this drama might lead to eventual military take-over.
“We wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government,” army spokesman Maj. Gen. SB Moyo said in the early morning statement. “What the Zimbabwe defense forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.”
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” he said.
Responding to the developments, Mr Conde, who is also Guinea’s president, said Zimbabwean soldiers “had obviously attempted to take power”.
The AU had “serious concern” at the situation and “reiterates its full support to the country’s legal institutions”, the statement said.
The BBC’s Anne Soy in Zimbabwe points out that Egypt was ejected from the AU after its 2013 coup, so it may be the Zimbabwean military is trying to avoid antagonising the bloc by not describing their actions as a coup.
But political indices in Zimbabwe have not suggested that the army will take over. “The military might only want to threaten the Mugabe hegemony, bring Mnagagwa back to Zimbawe and restore peace and calmness in the troubles country.
The ruling party, ZANU-PF is fully in support of the military action. It tweeted this morning “@zanu_pf handle. “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.”