Nigeria urges respect for constitution, calm, peace in Zimbabwe

A Zimbabwean army armoured personnel carrier is parked at an intersection on November 15, 2017 in Harare, Zimbabwe. On Harare’s streets, many expressed amazement and delight on November 15 that incumbent president’s long reign may be coming to a close, but people also admitted the future looked unstable. The visible impact of the momentous political upheaval was limited in Harare, with many people shopping at street markets, catching mini-buses to work or lining up outside banks as normal. STRINGER / AFP

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on all political and military stakeholders in Zimbabwe to avoid any action that may plunge the country into unnecessary conflict and impact negatively on the region.

The appeal by the Nigerian leader came in the wake of reported “military take-over” as a result of rising political tension in the southern African country sequel to President Robert Mugabe’s recent removal of former Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This led to the threat by the Head of the Armed Forces of Zimbabwe, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, that “the military will not hesitate to step in” when the issue had to do with protecting the “revolution.”

In a statement yesterday signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari also sued for calm, peace and respect for the constitution in that country.

According to him, “every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability.”

Zimbabwe’s military has reportedly seized control in an apparent coup, deploying tanks to the streets of the capital Harare, and declaring that 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe was “safe.”

But in a dramatic televised statement in the early hours of yesterday morning, an army spokesman denied that a military take-over was under way.

But the Cable Network News (CNN) said the situation bore all the hallmarks of a coup: The army was in control at state television in Harare, there was a significant military presence at the international airport, and Mugabe’s whereabouts were unknown for hours.



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