On Tuesday, November 14, soldiers and armored vehicles were reportedly deployed throughout the capital city of Harare. Soldiers are reportedly patrolling the streets and have set up checkpoints on major roads into the city; the road between Chinjoyi and Harare (Highway A1) is reportedly completely closed off. It has also been reported that the army has cordoned off the buildings belonging to the state TV broadcaster ZBC. The nature of the additional military presence in the capital is unknown. Details are still emerging.
The reports of armed soldiers in Harare comes at a time of increased tension between President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe military. On November 6, a political crisis began when President Mugabe fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa for allegedly plotting against the government. The firing of Mnangagwa created tension between President Mugabe and other high ranking members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Frant (ZANU-PF) party. On Monday, November 13, military chief General Constantino Chiwenga, a ZANU-PF member, criticized the purge of high-ranking ZANU-PF members who had fought in the country's war for independence in the 1960s and 1970s.
Mugabe came to power after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 and, although now 93, has yet to name a successor. Despite serious health concerns, ZANU-PF again endorsed him as its candidate for the 2018 election. However the party has become divided over who will eventually succeed him, leading to rising political tensions.
Individuals in Zimbabwe, particularly in Harare, are advised to remain vigilant, adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, and avoid unnecessary movements until the situation stabilizes.