There could be a military coup just getting underway in Zimbabwe. There are reports that tanks have rolled into the nation’s capital hours after the generals of the Zimbabwe military ordered President Robert Mugabe to stop the purge. Now the world is abuzz with talk of a Zimbabwe military coup, and the speculations are picking up steam.
Photos and videos have begun appearing on social media with claims that the military presence in and around Harare is growing. Activist Doug Coltart shared this video on Twitter:
Another video of military tanks on the move in Zimbabwe. In this one, someone says “the army are backing Mnangagwa” in Shona at the end of the video. pic.twitter.com/kpeY6TOdey
— Doug Coltart ✊🏽🇿🇼 (@DougColtart) November 14, 2017
Tanks spark speculations of a Zimbabwe military coup
Citing witnesses, Reuters reported that four tanks were seen rolling toward the capital city Harare on Tuesday. Another witness reportedly told the media network that two other tanks were sitting along the main road between Harare and Chinhoyi approximately 14 miles outside the capital city. The witness reportedly added that one of the two parked tanks that was heading in the direction of Harare had come off its tracks.
Reuters’ witnesses said the tanks that were heading toward Harare turned away before entering the capital city and started rolling in the direction of the Presidential Guard compound in the suburb of Dzivarasekwa, which is on the outskirts of the capital. One of the witnesses along the Chinhoyi highway pointed to tank track markings on a road that leads to the Presidential Guard compound. The battalion charged with protecting Mugabe is housed in that compound.
Apparently, the tanks that were on the move on Tuesday were only the first sign that a Zimbabwe military coup could be starting. Mugabe was leading a weekly meeting of the cabinet while the rest of the city seemed calm.
Further signs of a Zimbabwe military coup
There were no initial reports of troops being seen in the city, according to Reuters, although The Independent added a short time later that witnesses claimed military vehicles were blocking some roads outside Harare. Local media in Zimbabwe were also reporting that the military had sealed off ZBC, the state TV network. Meanwhile, social media users started posting photos which point to a Zimbabwe military coup; Twitter user Jupiter Punungwe tweeted this photo:
Looks like military out of the barracks in Zimbabwe pic.twitter.com/i6M6SxHtbh
— Jupiter Punungwe (@VaPunungwe) November 14, 2017
Zimbabwean General Constantino Chiwenga threatened a military coup on Monday, one week after Mugabe dismissed Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa. The vice president had been seen as the 93-year-old president’s probably successor prior to his firing. Zimbabwe has been independent for 37 years, and Mugabe has been its only president in all that time.
Mnangagwa was a veteran of the nation’s liberation wars during the 1970s, and he was popular with the Zimbabwean military. Because of this, a Zimbabwe military coup could indeed be imminent because, according to Reuters, Mnangagwa’s firing is being viewed as part of Mugabe’s alleged plan to make his wife Grace, who’s 52 years old, his successor. Mugabe has been gradually getting rid of other leaders who were also key players in securing the nation’s independence.