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Army takes control over Zimbabwe: Where's Mugabe?

PICTURED: Robert Mugabe

THE ZIMBABWEAN army has said president Robert Mugabe and his wife have been taken into custody after gunfire was heard near his compound and troops seized control of the state broadcaster, Sky News reports.

Blasts and gunfire came hours after a military chief warned the army could "step in" amid a political crisis sparked by Mugabe after firing his vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier this month.

General Constantino Chiwenga, commmander of Zimbabwe's defence forces, had demanded an end in the ruling ZANU-PF party.

In a statement read on state TV, Major General Sibusiso Moyo said: "Comrade Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.

"We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice."

According to The Guardian, Mugabe is confined to his home, but is in good health, according to Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, who said he has spoken to his Zimbabwean counterpart.

Mugabe has been power since 1980 and is the world's oldest head of state at 93-years-old.

There is currently no information as to where Mugabe's wife, Grace, is.

Read below the full statement on the situation in Zimbabwe from the South African presidency:

President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as chair of SADC (the Southern African Development Community), is sending special envoys to Zimbabwe and Angola in light of the unfolding situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The president is sending the minister of defence and military veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the minister of state security, Adv Bongani Bongo to Zimbabwe to meet with president Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force.

President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today, who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine. South Africa is also in contact with the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF).

The special envoys will also be sent to the Republic of Angola to the Republic of Angola to see President Joao Lourenco, chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, to brief him on the situation.

President Zuma has reiterated his call for calm and restraint and for the ZDF to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined in Zimbabwe.

SADC will continue to monitor the situation closely.

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