Zimbabwe political crisis: What’s happening?

(CNN) After a chaotic week of political turmoil in Zimbabwe, a army officer announced Wednesday that President Robert Mugabe is safe, but warned that the “criminals” around him will end up being prosecuted.

The announcement capped times of political surprises that started with the firing of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa the other day, accompanied by a statement from the head of the armed forces, who warned Monday that the military will intervene if the purge continued.

This escalated from there, resulting in Wednesday’s action. Here is a instant refresher on the political crisis in the southern African country:

Is there a army coup in Zimbabwe?

It has all the markings of a coup: a solemn soldier addressing the country on state tv in a beret and fatigues, armored cars in the administrative centre and jittery, puzzled residents.

But the army has rebuffed talk of a coup.

“To both our persons and the world beyond our borders, we desire to make this abundantly obvious this is not a military takeover of federal government,” Maj. Gen. S.B. Moyo said on express television.

“We are just targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who will be committing crimes that will be causing social and economic suffering in the united states as a way to bring them to justice.”

He added that issues will return to normal as soon as the mission is accomplished.

Where may be the President?

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

By early Wednesday, Mugabe hadn’t issued a assertion and his whereabouts stay unknown.

Moyo sought to reassure the country, saying Mugabe and his family group “are secure and their protection is guaranteed.”

“We are just targeting criminals around him who will be committing crimes that will be causing social and economic suffering in the united states as a way to bring them to justice,” he said.

What’s his wife’s role in the political crisis ?

President Robert Mugabe and first of all lady Grace Mugabe.

The President’s wife, Grace Mugabe, is a key player in the unfolding political crisis.

During the past, the 52-year-old primary lady mostly made headlines for her extravagant shopping sprees, which earned her the nickname “Gucci Grace.” But in modern times, she’s grown specifically vocal, leaving tongues wagging that her partner is certainly grooming her to succeed him.

The first lady became head of the ruling party’s women’s league a few years ago, prompting a lot more speculation that she’ll be her husband’s successor. The firing of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, analysts declare, moves her nearer to her goal.

But she’s also made headlines for the incorrect reasons, like the alleged assault of a South African style in Johannesburg this year. Mugabe denied the fees, but was granted diplomatic immunity before she will make a court appearance.

So why was the vice president fired?

Ex – Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is in hiding.

Mugabe’s firing of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his right-hand man for nearly four years, stunned the nation.

In a statement issued by the government spokesman, Mugabe accused the vice president of “disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability.”

Mnangagwa, nicknamed crocodile because of his political longevity, was with Mugabe right away, serving as his associate through the liberation struggle, down the road as his cleverness chief and cabinet minister.

In recent months, Zimbabwe’s press has reported on animosity between your vice president and the first of all lady.

Mnangagwa, 75, was widely considered most likely to succeed Mugabe.

The former vice president enjoys strong support among the military and security forces, and Gen. Constantino Chiwenga challenged Mugabe for firing him and threatened to intervene should his political allies continue to be sidelined.

State media didn’t cover the press conference at first, but was re-airing it on express media Wednesday, an indicator that the military might took control of the station.

In response to the conference, Mugabe’s political party accused Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct.”

Where’s the vice president?

The former vice president and freedom fighter in the country’s liberation wars has since gone into hiding and his whereabouts are unknown.

But he’s not heading down with out a fight. He’s calling on his supporters to help him build a coalition to take on Grace Mugabe in the next election.

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