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Zuma: Unfolding Political Situation in Zimbabwe Worrying

South African President Jacob Zuma.
South African President Jacob Zuma.

South African president Jacob Zuma says he has noted with great concern the unfolding political situation in Zimbabwe where the military has staged a coup.

In a statement posted on the official South African presidential website, Zuma called for calm and restraint and “has expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government as that would be contrary to both SADC (Southern African Development Community) and African Union positions.”

He urged the Zimbabwean government and the Zimbabwe Defence Force “to resolve the political impasse amicably”.

Zuma noted that Zimbabwean Defence Force should ensure that the maintenance of peace and security in the country is not compromised.

“SADC will continue to closely monitor the situation and remains ready to assist where necessary to resolve the political impasse in keeping with established SADC Protocols and processes.”

Zuma, who is the current SADC chairperson, did not spell out measures that would be taken by the regional bloc to rectify the situation in Zimbabwe.

General Constantino warned the ruling party on Monday that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces may intervene to stop expulsions of Zanu PF supporters linked to former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sacked by President Mugabe a week ago.

Mnangagwa allegedly led a Zanu PF faction known as Team Lacoste while First Lady Grace Mugabe was being backed by the so-called Generation 40 (G40).

Reuters reports that the army has seized all key institutions, including the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, the Robert Mugabe International Airport, government offices and several others.