S. African Prez: Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Is ‘Fine’ but ‘Confined’

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is “fine” but “confined” in the capital Harare, according to South African President Jacob Zuma, who said he spoke with the 93-year-old despot in a phone call hours after government offices and state-run TV were seized by the nation’s military. In a statement read out early Wednesday, the military insisted it was not staging a coup and assured that Mugabe and his wife Grace were “safe and sound” and urged other security services to “cooperate for the good of the country.” The military has insisted it is “only targeting criminals” surrounding Mugabe but warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.” A “violent conflict” may erupt if certain political, social, and economic issues are not addressed. The AP reported unrest overnight and explosions late Tuesday as soldiers and armored vehicles blocked roads to the main government offices and parliament. The incident comes amid a dispute between the leader of Zimbabwe’s army and Mugabe after the authoritarian ousted the country’s vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, last week in an attempt to set up Mrs. Mugabe, 53, to be his successor. The Guardian reported Mnangagwa had returned to Harare early Wednesday.