The African Union says the situation in Zimbabwe “seems like a coup” despite the military’s insistence that the action was targeted at “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe.
SB Moyo, a major general, had said: “We are only targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.
“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
Reacting, Alpha Conde, who heads the AU, condemned the actions of the military authorities in Zimbabwe, saying it was clear that “soldiers [were] trying to take power by force”.
Conde, who is the president of Guinea, said: “The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe.”
He demanded “constitutional order to be restored immediately and calls on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint”.
Following the takeover of all government institutions, the Zimbabwean army cordoned off the presidential seat of power and parliament building.
Jacob Zuma, South Africa, has said Mugabe and his wife have been placed under house arrest.
“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” a statement by the South African government read.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said “every attempt must be made to resolve all contentious issues by constitutional means in Zimbabwe to save the country from avoidable political instability”.
Mugabe, 93, has been at the helm of affairs in Zimbabwe since 1980.