EXPLOSIONS have been reported in Harare, the Capital city of Zimbabwe sparking fears of a possible coup against the 93-year old dictator, Robert Mugabe.
AFP is reporting that GUNFIRE has been heard close to Mugabe’s private residence.
#BREAKING Gunfire close to Mugabe's private residence: witness to AFP
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 15, 2017
Zimbabwean Forces have also taken control the state broadcaster, ZBC.
The Foreign Office is also warning British citizens to stay indoors until further notice.
The U.S. Embassy in Harare has also told staff to take cover and released a statement on Twitter:
Due to ongoing uncertainty in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Embassy in Harare will be minimally staffed and closed to the public on November 15. Embassy personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely. @StateDept
— U.S. Embassy Zimbabwe (@USEmbZim) November 15, 2017
The crisis comes after Robert Mugabe’s ruling party (ZANU-PF) accused the head of the military of treason.
Just 24 hours after a military chief General Constantino Chiwenga threatened to intervene to end a purge of his allies in Mugabe’s ruling party, ZANU-PF, a Reuters News Agency reporter saw tanks on main roads around the capital.
Aggressive soldiers told passing cars to keep moving through the darkness. “Don’t try anything funny. Just go,” one barked at the Reuters reporter on Harare Drive.
Two hours later, soldiers overran the headquarters of the ZBC, Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster and pro-Mugabe media outlet.
Soldiers ordered staff to leave and several ZBC workers were manhandled, two members of staff according to Reuters.
Shortly afterwards, three explosions rocked the centre of the southern African nation’s capital, Reuters witnesses said.
Robert Mugabe’s residence has reportedly been surrounded by soldiers, but some are claiming this is for his protection, rather than anything more sinister.
The situation in Zimbabwe remains unclear, Despite the troops stationed at locations across Harare, there was no word from the military as to the fate of Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s leader since its independence from Britain over 37 years ago when the country was known as Rhodesia.
The only official word from the government, Isaac Moyo, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to neighbouring South Africa, earlier dismissed talk of a coup, saying the government was “intact” and blaming social media for spreading false information.
“There’s nothing really happening. They are just social media claims,” Moyo told Reuters.
This is a developing story – more follows.