Zimbabwe crisis: Robert Mugabe is ‘safe’, army says in TV address as it denies coup

Zimbabwe’s army denied it had carried out a coup after taking over the state broadcaster in the early of Wednesday, even as military vehicles took to the streets of the Zimbabwean capital and prolonged gunfire was heard near the presidential residence.

Military officers read an address live on state TV, saying President Robert Mugabe was “safe” and his “security is guaranteed”.

“It is not a military takeover of government,” an army spokesman said in a televised statement. “We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president… and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.

We are only targeting criminals around who him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.”As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

The address came hours after several loud explosions echoed across central Harare and troops seized the headquarters of the ZBC, Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster.

Speculation had been mounting throughout the day that a coup was under way against Mr Mugabe, after the head of the armed forces threatened to “step in” over the sacking of an influential vice president.

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