Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has been removed from power and detained after the military seized control of Zimbabwe.
The ruling ZANU PDF Party confirmed former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will now take power.
A statement reads: “Last night the 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.”
“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.”
Tensions ratcheted in the southern African country after General Constantino Chiwenga challenged Mugabe over his decision to sack the Vice President last week.
It was seen as a power play to make way for his wife Grace to succeed him and establish a dynasty.
Soldiers on Wednesday (November 15) sealed access to government offices, parliamentary buildings and courts in central Harare, witnesses claim.
Troops stormed a TV station and claimed they had targeted criminals around Mugabe.
The country’s Major General SB Moyo said they want to deal with people who “were committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country”.
He said: “Our wish is that you enjoy your rights and freedoms as Zimbabwe returns to prosperity.
“Provocation shall be met with appropriate response.”
Moyo also claimed the situation in Zimbabwe was not a military coup.
He added the country would return to normal once the situation had been resolved.
The military broadcast ordered all members of the army to regroup as “all leave is cancelled”.
Moyo added: “We call upon all the war veterans to play a positive role in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country.”
“To members of the Zimbabwe defence forces, all leave is cancelled and you are all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.”
“To the other security force we urge you to co-operate for the good of the country.”
Zimbabwean finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is among members of the government detained by the army.
Three explosions were heard in Harare just before the military announcement, and gunshots were also heard near the home of Mugabe.