AS IT HAPPENED: Zanu-PF youth leader apologises for 'big mistake' of 'denigrating' army

2017-11-15 15:16

On Harare's streets, many expressed amazement and delight on Wednesday that President Robert Mugabe's long reign may be coming to a close, but people also admitted the future looked unstable.

Also read: 'The old man should be allowed to rest' - Tendai Biti on #Zimbabwe's Mugabe


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Last Updated at 08:26
15 Nov 23:02

Zimbabwe's state broadcaster has interrupted its programming to air an apology by the ruling party's youth leader to army commanders for "denigrating" them.

Kudzanai Chipanga says the statement he made earlier this week attacking the military did not originate with him.

He also said he was making his public apology without coercion.

He says that "by this big mistake we have learned a lot".

Zimbabwe's army early Wednesday announced that President Robert Mugabe and his family were under house arrest.

- AP

15 Nov 22:16

At 93, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is one of the longest-serving African presidents, having been on top of the once prosperous country for 37 years. 

From being a respected liberator who rid the former British colony - then Rhodesia - of white minority rule, Mugabe was soon cast in the role of a despot who crushed political dissent and ruined Zimbabwe's economy.

His grip on the military - which has helped keep him in office for more than three decades - seems to be ebbing.

Mugabe also seemed to have lost loyalty from his party, the Zanu-PF, after he sacked his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The former political prisoner turned guerrilla leader swept to power in 1980 elections after a violent insurgency and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.

In office, he initially won international plaudits for his declared policy of racial reconciliation and for extending improved education and health services to the black majority.

But his lustre faded quickly.


15 Nov 21:44

Tsvangirai's MDC hopeful of a new dawn for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, which reportedly welcomed ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa to join the MDC-T, is confident that the country is on the cusp of a new era, spokesperson Obert Gutu told News24 in a telephonic interview from Zimbabwe.

This comes in the wake of a military takeover forcing President Robert Mugabe to be confined to his home.

15 Nov 20:36

15 Nov 20:29
WATCH: 'Mugabe can't impose his wife on the people' 

15 Nov 20:03

The South African Presidency has confirmed that the special envoy sent to Zimbabwe has arrived, Alex Mitchley reports.  

Presidency spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga confirmed to News24 that the delegation led by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday. 

President Jacob Zuma, as chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployed the special envoy to deal with the current situation in the Zimbabwe, which has been described as a coup. 

It is not certain at this point whether the envoy has met with Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe or the Zimbabwean Defence Force yet. 

15 Nov 20:03

The 'precarious' pathway to democracy post-Mugabe

The most optimistic outcome from Zimbabwe (in light of the fact that they want Mugabe to step down) would be that the military have some kind of transitional authority paving the way to free and fair elections.

Some of the things that would make this transition possible would be pressure from the SADC, because the SADC doesn't like military coups, and Western pressure, because of Zimbabwe's dire economic situation.

They would need Western aid, and the hope is that there would be a renewal strategy that brings in investment, which ultimately means dealing with investor confidence.

15 Nov 20:00

Here is a timeline of the crisis in Zimbabwe:

November 6: Mugabe fires Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a rival of Mugabe's wife Grace, 52, to succeed the veteran 93-year-old leader in power.

November 8: Mnangagwa says he has fled the country to South Africa, according to members of his circle.

November 13: Zimbabwe's army chief General Constantino Chiwenga warns the military could intervene to stop what he calls a purge of Mugabe's rivals in ZANU-PF, branding them "treacherous shenanigans".

November 14: A convoy of tanks is seen moving on the outskirts of the Zimbabwean capital.November 15: military vehicles take control of the streets of Harare in the early hours.


15 Nov 19:28

Netwerk24 reports that the Institute of Security Studies  says as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, President Jacob Zuma was warned that there were severe tensions in Zimbabwe, but he didn't heed the warning.

A senior ISS research consultant based in Harare, Derek Matyszak, said on Wednesday that South Africa was so focused on its own political future that no attention was given to the pending crisis in Zimbabwe.

15 Nov 19:25

UN chief appeals for calm in Zimbabwe

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on all sides in Zimbabwe to show "restraint" after the country's military took control and President Robert Mugabe said he was under house arrest.

Guterres is monitoring the situation and "appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

Guterres "stresses the importance of resolving political differences through peaceful means and dialogue, and in line with the country's constitution", he added.

The UN chief noted that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was making efforts to end the crisis.

South Africa's government said President Jacob Zuma had spoken by telephone to Mugabe, who "indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine".

Mugabe, 93, has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980.


15 Nov 19:20
The situation now at Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare. 

15 Nov 18:43

15 Nov 18:38

15 Nov 18:34

African Union says Zimbabwe crisis 'seems like coup'

The head of the African Union on Wednesday said the crisis in Zimbabwe "seems like a coup" and called on the military to halt their actions and restore constitutional order.

Alpha Conde, who is also Guinea's president, said the AU condemned the actions of top brass in the southern African nation as "clearly soldiers trying to take power by force".

"The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe," a statement sent to AFP said, expressing support for the country's "legal institutions".

The African body further demanded "constitutional order to be restored immediately and calls on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint," it added.

The Zimbabwean military took control of the country on Wednesday after a struggle to succeed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe erupted in public, culminating in the sacking of the vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe is under house arrest, according to a conversation reported by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.Mugabe "indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine", the South African government said in a statement.


15 Nov 18:28

Zimbabweans elated but cautious as Mugabe flounders

On Harare's streets, many expressed amazement and delight on Wednesday that President Robert Mugabe's long reign may be coming to a close, but people also admitted the future looked unstable.

Mugabe, 93, has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 - longer than many can remember - and the sudden move against him by the military left some hoping that his repressive regime would soon fall.

"We are happy with what has been done," Keresenzia Moyo, 65, a housewife told AFP after visiting a hospital in the capital.

"We needed change. Our situation has been pathetic. The economy has been in the doldrums for a very long time. "What is good is that this has happened at the top and it is not affecting us people on the ground. People could be killing each other."

Moyo said that she didn't care if Mugabe was allowed to leave the country unhindered despite his tenure being marked by brutal repression of dissent, corruption and election vote-rigging.

Mugabe, who is under house arrest after the military took control, led Zimbabwe to independence.

But his decades in power have turned a country known as the breadbasket of Africa for its produce, into an economic basket case, where many go hungry.

"What we want is for our children to be able to get jobs and live a normal happy life," Moyo said.

"We want to have food on the table, not one side having everything and others dying of hunger. Mugabe was once a good person but he lost it. Now we need a fresh start."

'We need some kind of direction'

Zimbabwe's military has denied staging a coup, saying Mugabe was still president. "We don't know what this all means and we don't know what to do," Karen Mvelani, 21, a student, told AFP.

"We need some kind of direction on where we are heading."

The impact of the momentous political developments was limited in Harare, with many people attending street markets, catching mini-buses to work or lining up outside banks as normal.

The country's economic crisis has caused a severe cash shortage and sharply rising prices, which many Zimbabweans blame Mugabe for.

"He was a liability to the country because he was focusing on his leadership, he was a dictator," said Tafadzwa Masango, a 35-year-old unemployed man.

"Our economic situation has deteriorated every day -- no employment, no jobs," he said.

"We hope for a better Zimbabwe after the Mugabe era. "We feel very happy. It is now his time to go."

Mugabe sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, seemingly provoking the intervention of the military, which reportedly opposed First Lady Grace Mugabe's emergence as the likely next president. Precious Shumba, director of Harare Residents Trust action group, said Zimbabwe was entering "a new phrase".

"Now at least we break with the past," she said. "My wish is that they immediately announce a transitional government and state clearly when the country will have the next elections.

"We need a transitional government to rid the country of the toxic politics of patronage, corruption and nepotism."


15 Nov 18:20

Here's a look at some cases of world leaders who were detained as a result of national circumstances:

Zimbabwe's army has placed President Robert Mugabe and his wife  under "house arrest", triggering speculation of a military coup, though the military's supporters called it a "bloodless correction".

It wasn't clear exactly where the 93-year-old Mugabe and his wife were, but army Major General Sibusiso Moyo said they were being held by the military.

Unlike the Mugabes, many foreign leaders in recent history have been ousted from power and detained as the result of interventions by foreign armies or other external circumstances. 

Those include Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who was captured by American forces in 2003, and Panama's Manuel Noriega - a onetime US ally ousted by an American invasion in 1989. 

More recently, Lebanese leaders and citizens insist their prime minister Saad Hariri has been detained by Saudi Arabia in a regional power play.

Here's a look at some cases of world leaders who were detained as a result of internal national circumstances:

Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic

The former Serbian strongman was ousted from power by a pro-democracy movement and massive street protests in October 2000 in Belgrade after he refused to recognize an apparent electoral loss.

 The army and police had refused to crack down against the protesters despite his orders and some of the elite troops joined the street uprising. 

The protesters burst into national parliament and set it on fire. 

They also attacked the state-run TV headquarters, beating up some reporters and its director who were widely perceived as Milosevic's cronies. 

Milosevic recognized the electoral defeat only after the then Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, came to Belgrade to persuade him to step down a few days after the riots. 

Milosevic, who was widely seen as the driving force behind the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, was arrested and jailed in April 2001 by the new Serbian authorities.

In June 2001, he was handed to the UN war crimes court in The Netherlands, which charged him with masterminding Serb atrocities throughout the wars that tore apart the Balkans in the 1990s.

 The trial was repeatedly delayed by Milosevic's ill health and his propensity for grandstanding in court.

He died of a heart attack in March 2006 in his prison cell in The Hague.

Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania

Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu, who held an iron grip on his people through the Securitate secret police, was toppled in 1989 as communism collapsed across Eastern Europe.

The beginning of the end came with an uprising in the southwestern city of Timisoara on Dec. 15 that left dozens dead.

On the morning of Dec. 22, Defense Minister Vasile Milea died from gunshot wounds and the military began to desert the regime.

Ceausescu attempted to turn the tide in a speech, but the crowd rushed toward him and stormed the Communist Party headquarters.

Security guards hustled the Ceausescus into a waiting helicopter that headed to the Ceausescus' summer palace and then to the southern city of Pitesti.

The pilot falsely claimed the helicopter was at risk at being shot at and landed.

The couple flagged down two rides; one driver faked engine trouble and dropped them off and the last one took them to an agricultural centre in the town of Targoviste and told them they'd be safe.

They were locked in an office and then arrested by soldiers. Defense Minister Victor Stanculescu was a key organizer of the couple's show trial on Christmas Day. Ceausescu called the proceedings a Soviet plot.

They were found guilty of genocide and ruining the economy and sentenced to death.

Images of their bullet-ridden bodies were broadcast around the world.

South Korea's Park Geun-Hye

Former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has been in jail since March and on trial for corruption since May.

She spoke out recently, claiming she was a victim of "political revenge," a likely reference to the millions whose weekly protests helped drive her from power.

A small but growing number of Park's supporters — many in their 50s, 60s and 70s — regularly rally in front of the courthouse, calling her downfall unfair and demanding her release.

Among the key charges are that she colluded with a longtime friend to take tens of millions of dollars from companies in bribes and extortion, and allowed the friend to pull political strings from the shadows. Park says she is innocent.

She reportedly called her months of detention a "wretched and miserable time", and said she never abused her power or accepted illicit requests for favours while in office.

Park is the daughter of a dictator who ruled the country in the 1960s and 70s before his 1979 assassination.

She became South Korea's first female president in early 2013.


Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for 29 years, stepped down in February 2011 in the face of a popular uprising and was arrested two months later when the military junta ruling the country at the time came under mounting pressure to put him on trial.

A career air force officer, Mubarak, now 89, faced trials on charges that ranged from ordering the deadly shooting of hundreds of protesters during the 18-day uprising against his rule to corruption.

At the end, he was convicted of corruption for which time served in detention covered his sentence.

He left for home in March this year, ending a nearly six-year legal saga which had not seen the disgraced leader spend a single day in a prison cell.

He has spent that time either in a private hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh — his favourite city — a state-of-the-art military hospital on Cairo's eastern outskirts or a Nile-side military hospital in a leafy Cairo suburb.

A recent photo of the Mubarak on a golf buggy while holidaying in an exclusive sea resort in Egypt enraged activists, who alleged that his trial was politically manipulated and that the powerful military ensured that he, as one of their own, was comfortable in detention, not like the thousands of Islamists and secular pro-democracy activists in jail since a general-turned-president led the military's ouster of a freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi.

Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was arrested by the military barely a year after taking office.

Morsi, who hails from the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, proved to a divisive president, prompting millions of Egyptians to take to the streets in June 2013 to demand that he steps down.

At the end, it was the military that removed him on July 3 that year.

After four months of detention at a secret location, Morsi made his first appearance in court, charged with the killing of protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012.

He later faced a series of trials on a wide range of charges, including espionage, conspiring with foreign groups against Egypt and breaking out of prison.

He has had at least one death sentence overturned, but is now serving several lengthy prison sentences.


 In Pakistan, the all-powerful military has ruled the country for half of its 70-year history and no prime minister has ever completed their five-year term in office.

The country's most charismatic and popular leader, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who served from 1973 to 1977, was overthrown by the military and ultimately executed.

Bhutto's left-leaning Pakistan People's Party won a majority in Pakistan's 1970 general election but a war with neighbour India in 1971 and a civil war that led to the creation of Bangladesh from what had been East Pakistan resulted in elections being nullified and Bhutto taking power as martial law administrator.

He brought in a new constitution in 1973 that made the presidency largely ceremonial and was sworn in as prime minister, the most powerful civilian post in the new constitution.

Bhutto ordered new elections in 1977 and his party won by a large majority, but the opposition charged him with electoral fraud.

The army chief at the time Gen.

Zia-ul Haq mobilized Pakistan's religious right parties to agitate against Bhutto and eventually used the ensuing chaos to take over and impose martial law and bring in rigid Islamic laws. Bhutto was imprisoned.

He was sentenced to death on March 18, 1978, on the charge of having ordered the assassination of a political opponent.

After an appeal to a higher court, he was hanged.Bhutto's daughter, Benazir Bhutto, had struggled against the Zia-ul-Haq regime.

She faced long spells of detention, went into exile and returned in 1986 to a mammoth reception in Lahore.

Zia-ul Haq died in a military plane crash in August 1988 and Bhutto was elected Pakistan's first woman prime minister.

Her government was dismissed, however, by army backed President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1990 on corruption charges.

The same president dismissed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government in 1993 on corruption charges.

Sharif was later ousted in a military coup in 1999 by Army chief at the time Gen.

Pervez Musharraf who charged him with treason and eventually sent him into exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years.

Zhao Ziyang of China

China's Premier Zhao Ziyang, a leading reformer, was purged by China's ruling Communist Party in 1989 at the height of the student-led democracy movement that saw massive protests centred on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Zhao had gone to the square on May 19 and tearfully appealed to student hunger strikers to go home, saying "I came too late."

Zhao disappeared the next day after the government declared martial law.

Zhao was stripped of power shortly after the June 3-4 military crackdown on protesters — though his fate only became known more than a month later.

Zhao was purged for supporting the demonstrations though the conservatives who drove him from power blamed his policies for causing inflation, a widened income gap, corruption and other problems.

He was placed under house arrest and was occasionally spotted playing golf in the suburbs and touring the provinces, though state media never reported on him.

He remained under house arrest until his death in 2005.

- AP

15 Nov 18:11
Army tankers are seen guarding the town of Harare in Zimbabwe.

15 Nov 17:36

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange shows little reaction as army takes control

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) closed down on Wednesday after armed forces seized power and placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.

At the close of trading the ZSE’s main Industrials index was down 1.28% to 527.27, while the Mining index was unchanged.

15 Nov 17:19

15 Nov 17:15

15 Nov 16:57

OPINION: It's sunset for Mugabe, but whereto for Zimbabwe?

That Robert Mugabe divides opinion is not contestable.

Whatever views anyone possesses about him, what can never be taken away from Mugabe are his liberation and dictatorship credentials.

The past 10 days saw Zimbabwe lurching from one monumental event to another, inscribing an indelible mark on Mugabe and what he represents.

15 Nov 16:54

UK voices hope but warns against new 'tyrant' in Zimbabwe

Britain on Wednesday expressed cautious optimism after the military took control of Zimbabwe, but warned against any transition "from one unelected tyrant to the next".

"The situation is still fluid, and we would urge restraint on all sides because we want to see and we would call for an avoidance of violence," Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged caution in predicting the future of President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980.

"Hopes have been disappointed so many times. But there is hope, there is a real chance now that things will change in Zimbabwe," he said.

"But it's by no means a foregone conclusion. Everybody will have to work hard together to achieve that.

"Nobody wants simply to see the transition from one unelected tyrant to the next.

"We want to see proper free and fair elections next year and that's what we will be working towards."


15 Nov 16:40

Godfrey Mwanza, Absa Asset Management's head of pan-African listed equities, said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that, sentiment from commentaters and analysts hints at positive "relief" that going forward economic policy might be anything but what has become "normal" in Zimbabwe and that this is the turning point observers have been waiting for.  

Zimbabwe’s economy relies on commodity exports (primarily platinum), public sector spending (primarily civil servant salaries) and diaspora remittances (5% of gross domestic product).  

Absa Asset Management's fund has no exposure to Zimbabwe.

Early this year as it saw the economic situation in Zimbabwe deteriorate, it took a decision to exit the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.  

"The fact that it will not take much (for Zimbabwe's economy) to grow from this very low level, creates a temptation to believe that any change to the status quo is positive.

We are more sceptical of this given how little we know about the economic policy leaning of whichever administration emerges from the current evolution," said Mwanza.

- Fin24

15 Nov 16:36

UK urges restraint in Zimbabwe, voices cautious hope

Britain on Wednesday urged all sides in Zimbabwe to refrain from violence after the military took control of the country, but said it was "potentially a moment of hope".

"We have all seen what has been taking place in Harare. We are monitoring those developments very carefully," Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs. 

"The situation is still fluid, and we would urge restraint on all sides because we want to see and we would call for an avoidance of violence."

She said the primary concern of Britain, the formal colonial power, was for the safety of about 20 000 of its nationals who live in Zimbabwe.

The government changed its travel advice on Wednesday, urging Britons in Harare "to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer".

Zimbabwe's military is in control of the country and President Robert Mugabe, in a conversation reported by South African President Jacob Zuma, has said he is under house arrest.

But generals have denied staging a coup.Answering an urgent question on the situation in the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged caution in predicting how the situation will unfold.

"We do not know whether this marks the downfall of Mugabe or not, and we call for calm and restraint," he said.But he added: "I think this is potentially a moment of hope.

Lots of people in this country will be looking at it in that sense.

"We must make sure we don't jump the gun, that we aren't premature, and that's why I've been cautious with the House today."

Johnson said he would be talking to the deputy president of South Africa later Wednesday about the response of the international community.

He said he is also going to a European Union and African Union (AU) summit later this month, where Zimbabwe was now likely to be a priority.

"All Britain has ever wanted for Zimbabweans is to be able to decide their own future in free and fair elections," he said.

"Mugabe's consuming ambition was always to deny them this right.

"Britain has always wanted the Zimbabwean people to be masters of their fate and for any political change to be peaceful, lawful and constitutional."

Mugabe was once heralded as a liberator who rid the former British colony Rhodesia of white minority rule, but was soon cast in the role of a despot who crushed political dissent and ruined the economy.


15 Nov 16:32

SA must offer Mugabe political asylum, says EFF

The EFF has thrown its weight behind the military in troubled Zimbabwe by calling for a peaceful transition of power and for South Africa to offer President Robert Mugabe political asylum.

"President Mugabe cannot insist on remaining in power even when he is physically incapable of doing so," said the firebrand political party in a statement.

15 Nov 15:50

Mugabe's era is ending as Zimbabwean military seizes power

Zimbabwe’s military has seized power and detained 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe in a struggle over the succession of the only leader the nation has ever known.

Mugabe told President Jacob Zuma by phone that he’s being confined to his home and is fine, the South African presidency said in a statement.

15 Nov 15:44

Is Mnangagwa Zimbabwe's leader in waiting?

Emmerson Mnangagwa appears well-placed to return to a leading role in Zimbabwe following the army's takeover in response to President Robert Mugabe's sacking of the former vice president.

Nicknamed "Ngwena" (The Crocodile) because of his fearsome power and ruthlessness, the 75-year-old has a reputation for taking no prisoners.

He appeared to have been outfoxed by Grace Mugabe, who is 41 years younger than her husband, after she apparently convinced the veteran head of state to ditch his long-serving minister.

But following the army's dramatic seizure of power and reports that Mnanagagwa has left South Africa where he has been since his dismissal, Mnangagwa could be preparing to return to Zimbabwe and assume a leadership role.

"I think the army are in negotiations with Mugabe and Mnangagwa," Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, told AFP. 

"The easiest way to present a veneer of legality is that Mugabe reappoints Mnangagwa as vice president, briefly -- Mugabe then retires."

Under Zimbabwe's constitution, the first vice president would automatically become acting president for 90 days. Matyszak suggested that in that time, ZANU-PF would agree on a new party leader who would also become president "which would undoubtedly be Mnangagwa".

In the early days after independence from Britain in 1980, Mugabe made Mnangagwa, who was then a young trainee lawyer, minister for national security.

Since then Mnangagwa occupied a host of cabinet positions - but relations between him and his political mentor have not always been cosy, and the younger man is no stranger to presidential purges.

Following his removal last week, Mnangagwa issued a searing five-page condemnation of Grace's ambition and Mugabe's leadership style.

In 2004 he lost his post as the secretary for administration in the ruling ZANU-PF party after being accused of openly angling for the post of vice president.

Four years in the political wilderness followed, during which his then rival Joice Mujuru became vice president and the favourite to succeed Mugabe.

She was ultimately deposed following a campaign orchestrated by Grace Mugabe who convinced the president she was not to be trusted.

Political comeback

The 2008 elections, when he was made Mugabe's chief election agent, changed Mnangagwa's fortunes.

Mugabe lost the first round, but his supporters were not going to make the same mistake in the second round, which was marred by violence, intimidation and allegations of vote rigging.

In the same year Mnangagwa took over as head of the Joint Operations Command, a committee of security chiefs which has been accused by rights groups of organising violent campaigns to crush dissent.

He was targeted by EU and US sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his close allies over the elections and violence, but promptly given control of the powerful defence ministry.

It was a return to the home that made him a force in Zimbabwean politics in the first place.

Anti-colonial fighter

Born in the southwestern Zvishavana district on September 15, 1942, he completed his early education in Zimbabwe before his family relocated to neighbouring Zambia.

His grandfather was a traditional leader and his father a political agitator for the repeal of colonial laws that disadvantaged blacks.

In 1966, Mnangagwa joined the struggle for independence from Britain, becoming one of the young combatants who helped direct the war after undergoing training in China and Egypt.

He was arrested and sentenced to death but his sentence was later commuted to 10 years in prison because of his young age.

'Destroy and kill'

After independence in 1980, he directed a crackdown on opposition supporters that claimed thousands of lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

He once remarked that he had been taught to "destroy and kill" - although he later claimed to be a born-again Christian.

Takavafira Zhou, a political analyst at Masvingo State University, previously described Mnangagwa as "a hardliner to the core".

Mnangagwa reputedly has deep pockets should he decide to launch a political comeback.

A US diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks in 2008 claimed Mnangagwa had amassed "extraordinary wealth" during Zimbabwe's 1998 intervention in gold- and diamond-rich Democratic Republic of Congo.


15 Nov 15:34

15 Nov 15:32

15 Nov 15:29
The European Union on Wednesday called for a "peaceful resolution" to the crisis in Zimbabwe, following military intervention which saw President Robert Mugabe, 93, placed under house arrest.

15 Nov 15:28

Africa is riveted by the overnight drama that has left longtime Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in military custody.

Many across the continent have known no other leader of the once-prosperous southern African nation but the 93-year-old Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state. 

Here is a look at his more than three decades in power.

1980: Mugabe named prime minister after independence elections

1982: Military action begins in Matabeleland against perceived uprising; government is accused of killing thousands of civilians

1987: Mugabe changes constitution and becomes president

1994: Mugabe receives honorary British knighthood

2000: Land seizures of white-owned farms begin; Western donors cut off aid

2005: United States calls Zimbabwe an "outpost of tyranny"

2008: Mugabe and opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirayi agree to share power after contested election; Britain's Queen Elizabeth II annuls Mugabe's honorary knighthood

2011: Prime Minister Tsvangirayi declares power-sharing a failure amid violence

2013: Mugabe wins seventh term; opposition alleges election fraud

2016: #ThisFlag protest movement emerges; independence war veterans turn on Mugabe, calling him "dictatorial"

2017: Mugabe begins campaigning for 2018 elections

Nov. 6: Mugabe fires deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, appearing to position first lady Grace Mugabe for vice president post

Nov. 15: Army announces it has Mugabe and his wife in custody as military appears to take control

- AP

15 Nov 15:25

A former Zimbabwe finance minister and current activist says of President Robert Mugabe: "The old man should be allowed to rest."

Tendai Biti spoke to South African broadcaster eNCA as the 93-year-old Mugabe was said to be in army custody after an unprecedented public rift with the military.

Zimbabweans are hoping that whatever happens next will occur without bloodshed.

Biti says that Mugabe is a "very intelligent man who must know the die is cast".

- AP

15 Nov 15:20

15 Nov 15:20

15 Nov 15:17

Britain on Wednesday urged all sides in Zimbabwe to refrain from violence and said the situation was "very fluid" after the military took control of the country".

At the moment it's very fluid and it's hard to say exactly how this will turn out," Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said ahead of a formal statement in parliament.

Britain, the former colonial power, also changed its travel advice for Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

It called on Britons in the country "to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer".

"I think the most important point to make is that everybody wants to see a stable and successful Zimbabwe.

"I think we are really appealing for everybody to refrain from violence. That's the crucial thing," Johnson said.

Britain's acting ambassador to Zimbabwe Simon Thomas said in a video statement that "any British nationals who are here in Harare, either living or working or visiting, is to stay at home, stay in your hotel room, wait until things settle down a little bit."

Zimbabwe's military was in control of the country on Wednesday as Mugabe said he was under house arrest, although generals denied staging a coup.

Mugabe's decades-long grip on power appeared to be fading as military vehicles blocked roads outside the parliament in Harare and senior soldiers delivered a late-night television address to the nation.

Mugabe was once heralded as a liberator who rid the former British colony Rhodesia of white minority rule but was soon cast in the role of a despot who crushed political dissent and ruined the economy.


15 Nov 15:17

15 Nov 15:17

15 Nov 15:17
The old man should be allowed to rest, says Tendai Biti of Robert Mugabe

15 Nov 15:17
This coup is in your bedroom, says Tendai Biti

15 Nov 15:17
I'm shocked at this; I'm not a sangoma - Tendai Biti

15 Nov 15:17
The military put careful planning into this. There has been no loss of life - Tendai Biti

15 Nov 15:17
Tendai Biti says: The army is in charge

15 Nov 15:17
Companies on alert, SA bank brings some staff home #ZimbabweCompanies are being vigilant over their operations in Zimbabwe after military vehicles descended on the capital of Harare and the army seized power, threatening President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule. 

15 Nov 15:17
Herald publication reports that schools, markets, transport and public moving about freely in Zimbabwe

15 Nov 15:17
Questions around the location and role of former Zimbabwean vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa

15 Nov 15:17
Alex Magaisa, law professor at University of Kent, discusses the actions of Constantine Chiwenga, in an interview with Bloomberg.

15 Nov 15:17
Why did Robert Mugabe chosen to work with counter revolutionaries? Why did he choose to denounce war veterans who have been with him during the liberation war? queried Matemadanda 

15 Nov 15:17
Victor Matemadanda: All political parties should embrace this, we anticipate inclusivity as no one person can correct the situation that we are in.

15 Nov 15:17
Victor Matemadanda: The Zanu PF central committee will proceed and align the party to return to constitutionalism

15 Nov 15:17

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