The Latest: Mugabe's motorcade sighted - reports

2017-11-16 16:13
President Robert Mugabe.

President Robert Mugabe. (Elizabeth Sejake/City Press)

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Harare  — Here is the latest on Zimbabwe's political turmoil.

14:30

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says it would be too early to take any "firm decision" on Zimbabwe and that the political situation "very shortly will become clear".

President Jacob Zuma has told Parliament he doesn't want to speculate on Zimbabwe, where longtime President Robert Mugabe is under military guard amid calls for him to step aside after decades in power.

Zuma calls for a peaceful resolution to the "ongoing" developments.

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13:50

Witnesses are confirming the sighting of the motorcade of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe moving through the capital, Harare.

They say a helicopter was hovering at the same time the motorcade was sighted. It was not immediately clear where the motorcade was going.

Zimbabweans are seizing on the political limbo to urge the president to peacefully step aside after decades in power.

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13:20

A Zimbabwean vice president who was fired in 2014 is calling for "free, fair and credible elections" following a transition arrangement that draws from a range of communities.

Joice Mujuru, who was fired by Mugabe and accused of plotting to take power, told reporters on Thursday that peace can be realised only "through maximum restraint".

She says she is heartened by assurances given so far that condemn violence and encourage peace. She is calling for an election "in reasonable time" monitored by regional and international institutions under the eye of the United Nations.

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12:50

The Zimbabwean pastor whose social media campaign led to the largest anti-government protests in a decade is calling on citizens to "stand up for peace".

Evan Mawarire, who founded the #ThisFlag movement, asks: "Should we just sit and wait or shall we at least be part of this transition process?" He urges that citizens not wait for regional leaders to broker the next phase.

Members of the opposition, civil society and religious groups are calling for calm and respect for rights as quiet talks continue to resolve the crisis and likely put an end to Mugabe's decades-long rule.

More than 100 civil society groups have issued a statement urging Mugabe to peacefully step aside.

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12:35

The US Embassy is advising citizens in Zimbabwe to "limit unnecessary movements" as the country's political uncertainty continues.

The British government also is urging its citizens in the capital, Harare, to avoid large gatherings and any demonstrations.

The military remains in the streets of the capital.

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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.

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23:35

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.

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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 on 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.

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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 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.

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Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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