The Zimbabwe Defence Forces took over the Broadcasting Corporation to make a national announcement — of state-control, transition.

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Early Wednesday, the Army took state control of Zimbabwe, assuring the public that the action is “not a coup.” Rather, the goal is to “target criminals” around the head of state.

This is the first military takeover in the liberated Southern African state of Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980 from white minority rule. Robert Mugabe has since then been the state’s only president, and at 93 he is, for now, both the world’s oldest head of state and one of the longest-serving. In a video, Army spokesperson has described the current President Mugabe to be “safe and sound.” South Africa’s President Zuma has said he has spoken with Mugabe, who was “fine” but confined to his home.

Meanwhile the citizens of Zimbabwe have received — and begun to discuss the implications of — a radio statement by Army spokesman, Major Brigadier General Sibusiso B Moyo, who addressed the nation at 4am, after the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) had been taken over by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).

ZDF Takes Over ZBC

The full transcript of the statement released by the Army is as follows:

Good morning, Zimbabwe.  


Fellow Zimbabweans. Following the address we made on 13 November 2017, which we believe our main broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the Herald were directed not to publicise, the situation in our country has moved to another level.  


Firstly we wish to assure our nation, His Excellency, the president of the republic of Zimbabwe and commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, comrade R G Mugabe and his family, are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.  


We are only targeting criminals around him 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.


To the civil servants, as you are aware there is a plan by the same individuals to influence the current purging which is taking place in the political sphere. To the civil service, we are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.


To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to ensure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed as has been the case with this group of individuals.


To our members of parliament, your legislative role is of paramount importance, of peace and stability in this country, and it is our desire that a dispensation is created that allows you to serve your respective political constituencies according to democratic tenants.

To the generality of the people of Zimbabwe, we urge you to remain calm and limit unnecessary movement. However we encourage those who are employed and those with essential business in the city to continue their normal activities as usual. Our wish is that you will enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for which many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice.


To political parties, we urge you to discourage your members from engaging in violent behaviour.


To the youth, we call upon you to realise that the future of this country is yours. Do not be enticed with the dirty coins of silver, be disciplined and remain committed to the efforts and values of this great nation.


To all churches and religious organisations in Zimbabwe we call upon your congregations to pray for our country and preach the gospel of love, peace and unity and development.


To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe defence forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.We call upon all the war veterans to play a positive role in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country.


To members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, all leave is cancelled and you are all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.


To the other security forces, we urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.


And to the media, we urge you to report fairly and responsibly.


We thank you.

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