President Muhammadu Buhari has called for calm, peace and respect for the constitution in Zimbabwe.
The President also urged all political and military stakeholders in the country to avoid any action that may plunge Zimbabwe into unnecessary conflict and impact negatively on the region.
“Every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
President Buhari’s appeal came in the wake of reported “military takeover” as a result of rising political tension in the southern African country, following President Robert Mugabe’s recent removal of his vice, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa.
According to the statement, this led to the threat by the head of the Armed Forces of Zimbabwe, General Constantino Chiwenga, that “the military will not hesitate to step in” when the issue had to do with protecting the “revolution.”
The military, however, denied staging a coup but used state television to vow to target “criminals” close to President Mugabe.
Mugabe’s decades-long grip on power was dramatically weakened as military vehicles reportedly blocked roads outside the parliament in Harare and senior soldiers delivered a late-night television address to the nation.
“We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency, the president… and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed,” Major General Sibusiso Moyo had said while reading out a statement during a broadcast.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes… As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
“This is not a military takeover of government,” the major general insisted.
Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma, said in a statement on Wednesday, said President Mugabe was under house arrest in Zimbabwe.
“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” the South African government said in the statement.
“President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community, is sending Special Envoys to Zimbabwe,” the government added.