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Former Zimbabwe VP Mujuru calls for 'transitional arrangement'

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s former deputy Joice Mujuru on Thursday called for a transitional arrangement that should attend to issues of economic recovery and electoral reforms following the military takeover of government on Tuesday night.

Mujuru, who Mugabe fired in 2014 alleging that she was trying to topple him, is now the president of the National People’s Party. She also leads a grouping of opposition parties (People’s Rainbow Coalition) as its presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.

She told a press conference that her coalition urged Zimbabweans to observe the rule of law as the nation sought to restore constitutional democracy.

"We are at a time that peace can only be realized through maximum restraint and constructive exchange of ideas as Zimbabweans. Going forward as PRC we believe the present political development requires collective engagement and national dialogue of all critical stakeholders in our country," she said.

Apart from politicians, such stakeholders should include faith-based organizations, civil society, workers and students, she said.

"For the success of such collective engagement there is no doubt that we are in need of a transitional arrangement that should attend to key issues of economic recovery and electoral reform processes," she added.

Mujuru would not be drawn into commenting on the military takeover but said elections should be free and fair and that observers drawn from the region, the African Union and the international community under the auspices of the United Nations.

  Zimbabwean former Vice President Joice Mujuru | Coastweek

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean former Vice President Joice Mujuru speaks during a press conference in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe’s former deputy Joice Mujuru on Thursday called for a transitional arrangement that should attend to issues of economic recovery and electoral reforms following the military takeover of government on Tuesday night. XINHUA PHOTO
Meanwhile, the capital city Harare remained calm on the second day of the military action while President Robert Mugabe remained holed up at his private residence in the northern suburbs of the city.

There was less military presence on the roads in the city center and roads that had been blocked on Wednesday had been reopened for the smooth flow of traffic.

However, some cars issued to officers in the Central Intelligence Organization which had been left on the roads on Wednesday following instructions from soldiers remained there.

South African President and Southern African Development Community chairperson Jacob Zuma on Wednesday called for a meeting of an organ of the regional bloc to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe to be held Thursday afternoon in the Botswana capital Gaborone.

A statement from the SADC secretariat said that the meeting would be attended by ministers responsible for foreign or external affairs from the SADC Organ Troika member states—Angola, Tanzania and Zambia and the SADC Council chairperson who is the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa.

Zuma also on Wednesday dispatched special envoys to Zimbabwe and Angola to meet Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Defense Forces commanders who executed the takeover of government.

The special envoys will also be sent to Angola to brief President Joao Lourenco, who is the current chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security on the situation in Zimbabwe.

Unconfirmed reports said closed door meetings were underway Thursday, but some citizens were becoming restless over lack of information on what was happening on the ground.

Many people are resorting to social media in search of information but most of what is coming out there is not reliable and unsourced.

The African Union (AU) on Wednesday called on stakeholders in Zimbabwe to address the situation in accordance with the country’s constitution.

AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement Wednesday that the AU was closely monitoring developments in Zimbabwe.

Mahamat said that the crisis should be resolved in a manner that promotes democracy, human rights and socio-economic development of the country and expressed the AU’s commitment to working with SADC to ensure a peaceful resolution of the crisis.


Zambia is hopeful of amicable solution in Zimbabwe: FM

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government on Thursday expressed optimism that an amicable solution will be reached over the political impasse in Zimbabwe following the military takeover.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba said Zambia wanted to be part of a process of ensuring an amicable solution so that normalcy could return to Zimbabwe.

The Zambian minister was speaking at Bole International Airport in Ethiopia on his way for an emergency Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika meeting on defense and security in Botswana, according to a statement released by the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia.

"We are going to this meeting not only as members of the organ but also as close neighbors to Zimbabwe, we have often referred to our countries as Siamese twins, so we cannot be happy if our neighbor is going through a rough patch," he said.

No region delights in seeing destabilization of any kind, he added.

The minister further said Zambian President Edgar Lungu has spoken to the Zimbabwean authorities and the military in that country in order to get first-hand information about the situation on the ground.

South African envoys in Zimbabwe on mediation mission: minister

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Two South African special envoys have arrived in Zimbabwe on a mediation mission, SA Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Thursday.

The envoys, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongoand, were allowed into the country and they would meet Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and leaders of the Zimbabwean Defence Force soon, Kubayi said at a press briefing in Parliament after a fortnightly cabinet meeting.

Thereafter, the two envoys will proceed to brief Angolan President Joao Lourenco, who is also the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, according to Kubayi.

Kubayi said the SA cabinet supports the intervention by President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the SADC, in response to the Zimbabwean situation.

Further updates on this matter will be communicated by Zuma’s office, Kubayi said.

On Wednesday, Zuma said he was sending special envoys to Zimbabwe in light of the unfolding situation in the neighboring country.

Zuma has called an urgent SADC Organ Troika meeting to discuss the unfolding political and security situation in Zimbabwe.

On behalf of the SADC, Zuma issued a statement expressing the organization’s grave concern over the political situation and urged both the Zimbabwean government and the military to resolve the political crisis amicably.

Mugabe reportedly has been under house arrest since early Wednesday after the army, led by Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, took over the government in what is believed to be a coup.

China’s friendly policy toward Zimbabwe will not change: Foreign Ministry

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- China’s friendly policy toward Zimbabwe will not change in spite of the current situation in the African country, a Chinese spokesperson said Thursday.

"We sincerely hope that the situation in Zimbabwe will become stable and the issues will be resolved peacefully and appropriately," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing.

On Wednesday, the Zimbabwean military announced that it has taken control of all government institutions in the southern African country. Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old president Robert Mugabe and his wife have reportedly been put under house arrest since early Wednesday.

Military leaders said on state television that they were not taking over the government, but "targeting criminals around" Mugabe, and that Mugabe and his family are safe and their security is guaranteed.

When answering a question on Chinese investment in Zimbabwe, Geng said the friendly cooperation between China and Zimbabwe are comprehensive, benefiting the people of both countries.

"China’s friendly policy toward Zimbabwe will not change," said the spokesperson.

"We will continue to advance friendly cooperation with Zimbabwe in line with the principle of equality, reciprocity and win-win cooperation," Geng said.



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