The Latest: Amid political limbo, Zimbabweans enjoy freedoms

2017-11-16 16:13

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Harare - The Latest on Zimbabwe's political turmoil (all times local):

11:50 

Amid the political limbo, Zimbabweans are enjoying freedoms they haven't had in years. The shift to military control has brought a kind of fresh air.

For once, Zimbabweans don't have to contend with bribe-seeking police officers who mounted roadblocks every few kilometers.

Soldiers manning the few checkpoints on roads leading into downtown Harare are greeting motorists with a smile, searching cars without hostilities and wishing motorists a safe journey.

Street vendors who endured police raids after Mugabe ordered their removal are working without hassles.

Human rights groups are urging respect for rights as uncertainty remains.

11:35 

Regional officials are meeting on the Zimbabwe political crisis. Ministers with the Southern African Development Community are in Botswana for the meeting chaired by South Africa and Angola.

Their recommendations will be given to heads of state and government.

In addition, South Africa President Jacob Zuma will answer questions in Parliament on Thursday on a range of issues that almost certainly will include the uncertainty in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Zuma said on Wednesday he had spoken with Mugabe, who was "fine" but confined to his home.

11:25 

Zimbabwe opposition leader and former finance minister Tendai Biti's party is calling for a transitional authority to take over.

The party says in a statement Thursday that the transitional authority should be "made up of competent Zimbabweans whose mandate will be to put in place measures to turn around the economy" and build a better society for all.

Quiet talks continue in Zimbabwe to resolve the country's political turmoil and the likely end of President Robert Mugabe's decades-long rule.

Mugabe has been in military custody. Regional officials are meeting in Botawana on the crisis.

10:30 

People across Zimbabwe are starting another day of uncertainty amid quiet talks to resolve the country's political turmoil and the likely end of President Robert Mugabe's decades-long rule.

Mugabe has been in military custody and there is no sign of the recently fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled the country last week.

The military remains in the streets of the capital, Harare, as the mood is tense.

Regional officials are meeting on the crisis as civil society groups and churches in Zimbabwe issue appeals for calm.

A joint statement by more than 100 civil society groups urges Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, to peacefully step aside and asks the military to quickly restore order and respect the constitution.

Trade unions have urged workers to go about their business.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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