Robert Mugabe pictured for first time since Zimbabwe's military takeover

Nonagenarian president under house arrest following army takeover on Tuesday

Jon Sharman
Thursday 16 November 2017 17:58
Robert Mugabe met with army commander General Constantino Chiwenga, right
Robert Mugabe met with army commander General Constantino Chiwenga, right

The first pictures have emerged appearing to show Robert Mugabe after he was sequestered by military leaders in Zimbabwe.

The 93-year-old President was pictured by the Zimbabwe Herald alongside army chiefs and South African officials.

Mr Mugabe has been under house arrest since the army moved in on Tuesday and has faced calls to step down after 37 years in power.

Last week he fired his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a move thought to be paving the way for his wife Grace to take over as his successor.

Ms Mugabe has reportedly fled the country and pictures released by the Herald, a state-run paper, did not show her among the group.

Speaking out amid some political leeway, civil society groups and opposition leaders urged Mr Mugabe to step aside and for the country to transition into free and fair elections.

Zimbabwe's 'military takeover' explained

The paper said Mr Mugabe had met army commander General Constantino Chiwenga, priest Fidelis Mukonori and envoys from South Africa at the State House on Thursday.

Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and state security minister Kembo Mohadi were also pictured.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma, speaking in parliament, said the political situation in Zimbabwe “very shortly will be becoming clear”.

Cabinet ministers from four countries in southern Africa's regional bloc have now called for an emergency summit to discuss the political turmoil in Zimbabwe, according to South Africa's eNCA television station.

The meeting of the heads of state of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community is widely seen as essential to giving Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a dignified exit from power.

The call for the summit was made by the bloc's special committee on regional politics. The meeting in Botswana was attended by Cabinet ministers from Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa. The ministers did not say when the summit would take place.

Additional reporting by agencies

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