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Zimbabwe awaits next steps after military takeover

Zimbabweans are waiting to see what steps the military will take next after seizing control of the country.

President Robert Mugabe is said to be confined to his home in Harare but unconfirmed reports says his wife Grace, who was bidding to succeed him as president, has fled to Namibia.

The military’s action followed the sacking of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a fierce rival of Mrs Mugabe.

His whereabouts are also unclear.

President Mugabe, 93, has been in control of Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

But the power struggle over who might succeed him, between Mrs Mugabe and Mr Mnangagwa, has split the ruling Zanu-PF party in recent months.

Evidence that Mrs Mugabe’s circle was being pressured by the military came on Wednesday when one of the key allies made a public apology for criticising the head of the army a day earlier.

Regional bloc the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is due to hold emergency talks in Botswana on Thursday to discuss the crisis.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti told the BBC he wanted to see a transitional authority in place.

“It is urgent that we go back to democracy. It is urgent that we go back to legitimacy but we need a transitional period and I think, I hope, that dialogue can now be opened between the army and Zimbabweans, [that] dialogue can be opened between the army and regional bodies such as the SADC and, indeed, the African Union,” he said.

BBC

Staff Reporter

The author Staff Reporter

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