Zimbabwe’s military on Friday said it was “engaging” with President Robert Mugabe, in its first public statement since seizing power two days ago and placing the long-time leader under house arrest.
On Friday, the Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, reported the Zimbabwe Defence Forces as saying that “significant progress has been made in their operation to weed out criminals around President Mugabe.”
Photos published in state media late Thursday showed 93-year-old Mugabe, army chief Constantino Chiwenga, and two South African envoys meeting in State House in Harare for talks.
In one of the pictures Mugabe and Chiwenga were smiling and shaking hands.
Zimbabwe’s military on Wednesday seized power in a bloodless coup, placing Mugabe under house arrest and detaining some of his allies.
Most analysts believe the army want to install former deputy president Emmerson Mnangagwa – who Mugabe fired last week – as interim leader.
The catalyst for the military’s shock move against the leader of almost four decades appears to have been Mugabe’s unpopular, much younger wife Grace, who harbored ambitions to succeed her elderly husband.