President Yoweri Museveni’s government has said it is closely following the developments in Zimbabwe as the South African nation remains tense amid claims that former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been installed as interim President, and reports of President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Uganda’s State Minister for International Relations, Mr Henry Okello Oryem said that under the current African Union rules, no African state can recognise a military coup on the continent by any military officer or group implying that Uganda is mandated to side with Mr Mugabe’s establishment.
Mr Oryem said Mr Mugabe’s “government is the legitimate leadership” adding that people in both countries enjoy cordial relationships.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party has claimed on social media that President Mugabe and his family were detained Tuesday night, in what increasingly looks like an attempt to depose the long time president.
The claim adds to the military’s statement early Wednesday, delivered after soldiers took over state television, that the army is not carrying out a military takeover of the government and that Mugabe and his family are safe.
However, the situation remained tense in the capital as Zimbabweans both inside and outside the country watched and wondered about the fate of the 93-year-old president, who has ruled the Southern African nation since 1980.
The announcement followed witness reports of at least three explosions and heavy gunfire in the capital city of Harare early today.
Witnesses also said military vehicles and soldiers were on the streets, hours after soldiers took over state broadcaster ZBC.
Local media reports indicate that at least three leading figures in the Generation 40 faction of Zanu-PF who had been reportedly fomenting chaos in the ruling party, were picked up early today, following the intervention of the country’s Defence Forces.
Although the reports remain unconfirmed at the moment, indications are that the Finance minister, the national commissar and Higher Education minister were arrested in raids at their respective homes.
Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo is believed to have been the brains behind the G40 faction that has reportedly been masterminding the expulsion of liberation war heroes in ZANU-PF, including the recent sacking of M-nan-gagwa.