Zimbabwe Ruling Party Denies Coup Amid Reports Of Tanks Near Capital

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"From the direction of his house, we heard about 30 or 40 shots fired over three or four minutes soon after 2:00 am", a resident who lives close to Mugabe's mansion in the suburb of Borrowdale told AFP. He says it is an attempt to pacify the degenerate conditions in the country so that it doesn't degenerate into conflict.

Canadians in Zimbabwe were being advised Wednesday to stay indoors in the capital city of Harare due to political turmoil in the African nation.

Zimbabwe's ambassador in South Africa, Isaac Moyo, dismissed any talk of a coup and said the government was "intact".

He also said the situation in the country "has moved to another level" and that he wished to assure the nation Mugabe and his family are safe and their security is "guaranteed".

Initially, the governing party accused Army Chief Gen. Constantino Chiwenga of "treasonous conduct", but the party's account later tweeted that: "There was no coup", but instead "a bloodless transition which saw corrupt and crooked persons being arrested".

Two hours later, soldiers overran the headquarters of the ZBC, and ordered staff to leave.

The youth wing is a strong supporter of Grace Mugabe.

Tuesday's ZANU-PF statement, signed by party information secretary Simon Khaya Moyo, said Chiwenga's comments were "clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability" and meant to "incite insurrection and violent challenge to the Constitutional Order".

President Mugabe has exerted nearly total authority over Zimbabwean politics for decades - but the sacking of his most senior long-time confidant "has laid bare the rivalries inside Zimbabwe's political establishment" and could spark repercussions beyond his control, says the Daily Mail. Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe last week but said he would return to lead the country.

Robert Mugabe has accumulated a net worth of $10 million (£7.5 million) thanks largely to the fortunes reaped from Zimbabwe's diamond deposits.

"The main indicator of a broader outbreak of violence would be the reaction of the Presidential Guard, which remains loyal to President Mugabe".

Areport said they would face charges of undermining the authority of the President, by singing "We hate what you're doing" as the first lady spoke.

"Let it be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country".

While Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe haven't responded directly to Chiwenga's remarks, the Zanu-PF Youth League, a key ally of Grace Mugabe, slammed what they said was overreach by the military into political issues.

The added presence of troops as night fell and civilians went home - including the movement of at least six armoured personnel carriers from a barracks north-west of Harare - further sparked rumours of a coup against Mr Mugabe, although there was still no evidence Mr Mugabe had been ousted.

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