President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson, called for "calm and restraint" on Wednesday, and said he hoped that the political situation in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes in Zimbabwe's government.
President Zuma urges #Zimbabwe government and defence force (ZDF) to "resolve the political impasse amicably" and ensure "the maintenance of peace and security is not compromised".— HuffPost SouthAfrica (@HuffPostSA) November 15, 2017
Zuma was addressing South Africans on the current situation in Zimbabwe.
However Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, has denied that a military coup has taken place, and claims it is business as usual in Harare. Most retail outlets have opened for business, despite armed forces seizing control of South Africa's neighbour, including the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
Thanks for your concerns, there is NO coup happening in Zimbabwe. Please continue with your lives and face up to your own problems.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 14, 2017
Zimbabwe has not had a coup. There has been a decision to intervene because our constitution had been undermined, in the interim Comrade E Mnagngawa will be president of ZANU PF as per the constitution of our revolutionary organisation.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
On its Twitter page, ZANU-PF stated that it is not "owned" by Mugabe, and promised that "a fresh new era" would dawn under "Comrade Mnangagwa", claiming that he would "achieve a better Zimbabwe". This comes after former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa was fired by President Robert Mugabe for various allegations, including that he was "undermining" the nonagenarian.
Last night the first family was detained and are safe, both for the constitution and the sanity of the nation this was necessary. Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife. Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
There was no coup, only a bloodless transition which saw corrupt and crooked persons being arrested and an elderly man who had been taken advantage of by his wife being detained. The few bangs that were heard were from crooks who were resisting arrest, but they are now detained— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
ZANU-PF also called for media to stop reporting on claims of a coup, insisting "everything in the country is peaceful". They also publicly endorsed Mnangagwa as their new leader.
Zimbabwe is peaceful and there is no instability. The constitution has not been violated, there remains a democracy.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
Please can the media report responsibly, be clear there has been no Coup in Zimbabwe.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
"The situation has been pacified." ☝Please quote, (as stated in the video below)— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
Mnangagwa was the more prominent of the country's two vice-presidents and had been part of Mugabe's cabinet since independence. He was said to have enjoyed the support of military generals and war veterans, a belief which recent developments appear to have confirmed.