The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
By Thulasizwe Sithole
Zimbabwe rarely makes the headline news, such is its status as a failed nation with little to offer the international community. But today, global news outlets are awash with the news that its military has stepped in to take control from President Robert Mugabe.
The army has denied there has been a coup, sparking speculation about the army’s ultimate goal.
Here are some snapshots from the global media:
CNN: Zimbabwe: Uncertainty over Mugabe’s whereabouts as military denies coup
(CNN) Political turmoil escalated in Zimbabwe overnight, raising the question of whether 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe remains in control of the country he’s ruled for almost four decades – or if he’s been overthrown in a military coup.
As soldiers patrolled the streets, a military spokesman, in a live speech at 4 a.m. local time on state broadcaster ZBC, denied the country was in the grip of a coup, and announced Mugabe and his family were “safe.” See more CNN coverage of Zimbabwe.
Daily Star: Zimbabwe army removes Robert Mugabe from power and ‘installs new leader’
ROBERT Mugabe has been removed from power and detained after the military seized control of Zimbabwe. TOPPLED: Mugabe has supposedly been replaced by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
See more Daily Star coverage on Zimbabwe.
Al Jazeera: Zimbabwe: What’s happening?
There is growing uncertainty in Zimbabwe.
Soldiers on Wednesday took over the headquarters of the state broadcaster ZBC and blocked access to government offices, but the army says this is not a military take over.
President Robert Mugabe, who leads the ruling Zanu-PF party, is safe, an army spokesman has said.
But as yet, there is no official word from the Mugabe family as to their whereabouts.
What has happened so far: The backstory
- Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, an ally of the army chief and a veteran of the country’s struggle for independence, was sacked on November 8 by 93-year-old Mugabe for showing “traits of disloyalty”.
- Mnangagwa, who fled the country soon after, was seen as a likely successor to the ailing president, and his ousting now appears to pave the way for First Lady Grace Mugabe.
- Army commander Constantino Chiwenga said on Monday, November 13, that the military would act if purges against former war liberation fighters did not cease.
- Zanu-PF on November 14 accused the army chief of “treasonable conduct” after he challenged Mugabe over the sacking of the vice president. See more Al Jazeera Zimbabwe coverage.
Times Live: South Africa downplays Zimbabwe situation
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says South Africans planning to visit Zimbabwe on Wednesday should continue with their plans despite fears of an army coup.
Clayson Monyela‚ spokesman of the department‚ said the South African government was in touch with the Zimbabwean government.
“Our advice would be that whoever wants to travel to Zimbabwe should continue to do that but please maintain regular contact with our embassy there‚” said Monyela.
However‚ he said decisions like that should be taken with due consideration of the prevailing situation on the ground.
“There hasn’t been any violent incidents‚ as far as we are aware‚ so we wouldn’t discourage anybody from travelling to Zimbabwe‚” added Monyela.
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