President Robert Mugabe has been placed under house arrest in Zimbabwe, his South-African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, has said.
The Zimbabwean military, led by SB Moyo, a major general, early on Wednesday took over in a military action said to be targeted at “criminals” around Mugabe.
In a subsequent reaction, Zuma said Mugabe is “fine” despite being confined to his house.
“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” a statement by the South African government read.
Mugabe and his wife were reportedly taken into custody when the army took control of the streets and TV stations.
The military had assured that the situation would return to normalcy as soon as their mission was accomplished.
“We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander-in-chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG Mugabe, and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed,” Moyo had said.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, reacting to the development in Zimbabwe, has called on military and political stakeholders in the country to avoid any action that could lead the country to war.
“Every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability,” Buhari said in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his media aide.
Mugabe’s recent dismissal of his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is rumoured to be among the triggers of the military takeover of the Zimbabwean government.