The stage has all the makings of a military coup. In a short, the national broadcaster ZBC has been seized overnight by soldiers, with the military spokesman saying it expected “normalcy” to return as soon as it had completed its “Mission.”
Zimbabwe’s military said on Wednesday it had seized power in a targeted assault on “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe who were causing social and economic suffering, but have promised that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound.”
Techunzipped moved around the CBD (Harare) and they noticed that its business as usual as all banks, mobile network operators, telecoms companies was open for business.Major supermarkets where also open today. Commuter minibusses were also operating their normal routes to and from town. Even though some SMS closed their shops and a few did not openLong queues were seen at the banks as people wait to make withdrawals.
However, Soldiers have sealed access to parliament, government offices, and courts in Harare. Access to the president’s official residence was also blocked by troops.
When Techunzipped spoke to the people on the street, one Tawanda Makani said “Not much except that the army is firmly in control. Harare CBD, ZBC, Herald. People are moving freely doing our rounds, we actually feel safer than ever before”.
One vendor said “Although a little bit scary, I think this is good for us. It has been a long time, we are going through a lot of hardships,”
The US embassy in the capital tweeted out a message citing “ongoing uncertainty.” A statement later posted by the embassy told US citizens in Zimbabwe to “shelter in place until further notice”. The British embassy said that due to the “uncertain political situation” British nationals should remain at home.
The crisis comes at a time when Zimbabwe faces severe economic problems. The country is struggling to pay for imports due to a shortage of dollars, which has also caused acute cash shortages. State employees, including some soldiers and policemen, have gone for months without payment of their salaries, deepening discontent with the government.