Heavy police patrols in Harare amid coup attempt – reports

HARARE – Heavily armed police and troops are patrolling the streets of Harare on Monday amid reports of a coup attempt by armed forces. It is reported Robert Mugabe had to cut shot his holiday trip on receiving special report from his close security intelligency services of a plan to topple him.

On arrival, Robert Mugabe removed Vice President Joseph Msika from the position of acting President and immediately appointed Vice President Joyce Mujuru amid reports that Emmerson Mnangagwa was planning to topple him.

Our source revealed that, last Friday a huge amount of arms and ammunition went missing from Inkomo Barracks, the country’s biggest armoury and another armoury at 2 Brigade, Cranborne Barracks was burgled and left empty.

It is also reported that Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri survived assasination attempty on Saturday night when a group of heavily armed gunmen mounted an attack at his hiding home in Mt Hampden.

There is growing frustrations and anger over a deepening economic crisis accross the country.

President Robert Mugabe’s government has routinely used police to violently break up opposition rallies and protests against a crisis that has left many Zimbabweans scrounging for food and medicines as health and education services collapse.

On Monday, dozens of riot police in armoured trucks and armed with automatic rifles were stationed at a central city park where protesters usually gather for marches.

Other police squads with batons, shields and teargas canisters patrolled Harare on foot, although there was no public announcement or visible sign of planned protests.

There was no comment from police on the deployment. Public anger is high over an economic meltdown that has brought 80 percent unemployment, chronic shortages of food and fuel, hyperinflation and an outbreak of cholera.

A power-sharing deal signed between Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s opposition MDC in September has not been implemented as the sides argued over control of ministries and the abductions of opposition figures and human rights activists.

On Monday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that it would let workers with payslips cash their salaries without limit, while all other withdrawals remained restricted.

Zimbabwean dollar salaries are now mostly being used to pay for public transport, but many businesses are demanding payment in foreign currency in the face of inflation that officially stands at over 230 million percent. 

Critics say Mugabe — 84 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980 — has mismanaged the economy and violated human rights, sending the once-prosperous nation into meltdown.

A cholera outbreak has worsened the humanitarian crisis, infecting nearly 40,000 people and killing more than 1,800.

Mugabe — who is on leave this month and returned home on Saturday from a week’s vacation in Southeast Asia — says Zimbabwe’s economy has been sabotaged by Western powers opposed to his seizures of white-owned farms for blacks.