Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been placed under house arrest by troops from the country’s military.
The erstwhile president is currently under house arrest in the capital, Harare, and is reported to be in good health, according to a statement from South African leader Jacob Zuma.
Troops are reportedly patrolling the capital after they seized state TV and are said to be targeting “criminals” associated with Mugabe’s regime. The disturbance in the leadership structure may affect markets through the week as political fallout drives upside risk for the region.
Mugabe’s recently sacked deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, may be next in line to take charge, according to BBC correspondents in the region but the sudden coup is likely to lead to further uncertainty in the short-term. Mnangagwa was dismissed last week.
“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” a spokesperson for Zuma said.
The UK Foreign Office advised Britons “currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer”, while the US embassy in Harare advised US citizens in Zimbabwe to “shelter in place” until further notice. Mugabe, 93, has dominated the impoverished country’s political scene since it gained independence from the UK in 1980.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes… that are causing social and economic suffering in the country,” Maj Gen Moyo said, reading out a prepared statement in a video broadcast.”As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”