By Ese Awhotu with agency report
The head of the African Union, Alpha Conde has said that, the body “will never accept the military coup d’etat” in Zimbabwe.
AFP reports that Alpha Conde said this in an interview with French journalists in Paris.
According to the report, Alpha Conde who doubles as Guinea’s president, said that; “We demand respect for the constitution, a return to the constitutional order and we will never accept the military coup d’etat,” “We know there are internal problems. They need to be resolved politically by the ZANU-PF party and not with an intervention by the army.”
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria had also on Wednesday called for calm, peace and respect for the constitution in Zimbabwe.
The President urged 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.
According to Buhari, “every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability.”
This is just as Reuters reported yesterday that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, his wife, Grace, and two key figures from her G40 political faction are under house arrest at Mr. Mugabe’s “Blue House” compound in Harare and are insisting the 93-year-old finishes his presidential term.
The G40 figures are cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere, who fled to the compound after their homes were attacked by troops on Tuesday night’s coup, a source, who said he had spoken to people inside the compound told Reuters.
Mr. Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source said on Thursday.
The source said Mr. Mugabe is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup.
Reuters reports that the priest, Fidelis Mukonori, is acting as a middle-man between Mr. Mugabe and the generals, who seized power on Wednesday in a targeted operation against “criminals” in his entourage, a senior political source told Reuters.
The source, according to the report could not provide details of the talks, which appear to be aimed at a smooth and bloodless transition after the departure of Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
Zimbabwean intelligence reports seen by Reuters suggest that former security Chief Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was ousted as vice-president this month, has been mapping out a post-Mugabe vision with the military and opposition for more than a year.
Fuelling speculation that that plan might be rolling into action, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been receiving cancer treatment in Britain and South Africa, returned to Harare late on Wednesday, his spokesman said.
South Africa said Mugabe had told President Jacob Zuma by telephone on Wednesday that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family, including wife Grace, safe.
Inspite of the lingering admiration for Mr. Mugabe, there is little public affection for 52-year-old Grace, a former government typist who started having an affair with Mr. Mugabe in the early 1990s as his first wife, Sally, was dying of cancer.
Dubbed “DisGrace” or “Gucci Grace” on account of her reputed love of shopping, she enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of Mr. Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF in the last two years, culminating in Mnangagwa’s removal a week ago, a move seen as clearing the way for her to succeed her husband.
In contrast to the high political drama unfolding behind closed doors, the streets of the capital remained calm, with people going about their daily business, albeit under the watch of soldiers on armoured vehicles at strategic locations.
Whatever the final outcome, the events could signal a once-in-a-generation change for the former British colony, a regional breadbasket reduced to destitution by economic policies Mr. Mugabe’s critics have long blamed on him, Reuters reports.