Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is being held prisoner by the country’s military — led by General Constantine Chiwenga — in a coup d’etat announced early Wednesday by the army.
Major-General S.B. Moyo said in a statement after the seizure of state broadcaster ZBC, “The situation in our country has moved to another level.” Denying the military had taken over the government, however, the army spokespersons said the president and his family were “safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed.”
Rather, said Moyo, “We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.” More ominously, he added, “Any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
Israel’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Gershon Keidar, was not present in the country at the time. A spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the situation.
Israel and Zimbabwe established formal diplomatic relations in 1993.