Zimbabwe’s ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, on Wednesday said President Robert Mugabe and his family were safe after the military took custody of the world’s oldest head of state earlier in the day.
The party said Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sacked as the vice president last week, will now be its leader after the “bloodless transition”. The Zanu-PF denied that the military had carried out a coup, and said the Army had intervened as the “Constitution had been undermined”.
“Neither Zimbabwe nor Zanu are owned by Mugabe and his wife,” the party declared, accusing First Lady Grace of taking advantage of her husband. The military has also detained Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo.
This comes about a day after Army General Constantino Chiwenga warned of military intervention after President Mugabe sacked the vice president amid a disagreement over succession, the BBC reported. The First Lady had emerged the front-runner to take over as the next president.
Mugabe has been in power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980. His government in Zimbabwe has been accused of several human rights violations. The 93-year-old is also accused of maladministration, which has led to a collapse of the country’s economy and healthcare system, among other administrative failures.