Zimbabwe coup: Country awaits next steps as mediation continues

Harare, Nov 16: Zimbabwe remained in political limbo a day-and-a-half after the military takeover that appears to have put an end to Robert Mugabe’s 37-year grip on power.
Talks between the ousted President, who has been confined to his residence in Harare by the Army, and senior military officers continued on Thursday with senior church leaders and envoys from neighbouring South Africa involved in mediation efforts.
Harare remained tense but calm amid the political uncertainty. Troops have secured the airport, government offices, Parliament and other key sites. The rest of the country remained peaceful.
The takeover has been cautiously welcomed by many Zimbabweans, the Guardian reported.
The military declared on national television early on Wednesday that it had temporarily taken control of the country to “target criminals” around the 93-year-old President.
The intervention came after weeks of political turmoil, in which Mugabe sacked his powerful Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, clearing the way for Mugabe’s wife Grace to succeed him.
The move exacerbated divisions in the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Mnangagwa enjoyed wide support in the military and was reported to have returned to Zimbabwe. Reports that Grace Mugabe had fled to Namibia on Wednesday appeared false, with the Guardian quoting several sources as saying that she was detained with her husband in their residence.
The future of the first lady is a key element in the ongoing discussions between Mugabe and the military.
Singapore and Malaysia, where the Mugabes own property, are potential destinations if she is allowed to travel into exile.