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Zimbabwe's former dictator Mugabe casts his vote alongside disgraced wife 'Gucci' Grace in historic election that looks set to see ex-friend who ousted him voted in as President

Zimbabwe's Mugabe is detained by military in 'bloodless correction' of power as deposed VP returns from exile {VIDEO}

Statement: Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses media during a surprise press conference at his residence 'Blue Roof ' in Harare on Sunday

  • Zimbabwe hold first election without Robert Mugabe since 1980 independence
  • President Emmerson Mnangagawa, faces 40-year-old lawyer Nelson Chamisa
  • Mugabe, 94, addressed the nation for the first time since he was ousted in 2017 
  • He refused to vote for Mnangagwa and accused him of 'illegally taking power'

Zimbabweans are voting in their first election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot today, after the ex-dictator yesterday refused to endorse his former party's candidate.

In his first address to the nation since stepping down in November, the 94-year-old said he would not support Zanu-PF, the ruling party he long controlled, nor President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying: 'I cannot vote for those who have tormented me.' 

The former leader was met with cheers and boos as he cast his vote in a Harare township, accompanied by his reviled wife Grace, whose luxurious habits during Mugabe's decades in power earned her the nickname 'Gucci Grace'.

Some 5.5 million have registered to vote in today's election, with the nation anxious for change after decades of economic paralysis and the nearly four-decade rule of Mugabe.  

Zimbabwe's former dictator casted his vote in historic election
His vote: Former dictator Robert Mugabe casts his vote at a polling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, accompanied by his wife Grace, right

His vote: Former dictator Robert Mugabe casts his vote at a polling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, accompanied by his wife Grace, right

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa casts his ballot as he votes in the general election at Sherwood Park Primary School in Kwekwe, about 125 miles south of Harare

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa casts his ballot as he votes in the general election at Sherwood Park Primary School in Kwekwe, about 125 miles south of Harare

Contender: Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa casts his vote at a polling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday
Contender: Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa casts his vote at a polling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday

Long lines of voters have been seen waiting outside some polling stations in Zimbabwe this morning and thousands of election monitors are in the country to observe a process that the opposition says is biased against them.

The two main contenders are 75-year-old President Mnangagwa, a former deputy president who took over from Mugabe last year, and Nelson Chamisa, a 40-year-old lawyer and pastor.

Mr Chamisa became head of the main opposition party after the death of longtime Mugabe challenger Morgan Tsvangirai in February.

Robert Mugabe: 'I will not vote for those who torment me'
Ready to go: Voters await the opening of a polling station during early morning voting in Kwekwe as Zimbabwe holds its first general election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot

Ready to go: Voters await the opening of a polling station during early morning voting in Kwekwe as Zimbabwe holds its first general election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot

Early bird: Voters yawn and wear hoodies and jackets against the morning cold as the sun rises above a polling station located in the suburb of Mbare in Zimbabwe's capital Harare

Early bird: Voters yawn and wear hoodies and jackets against the morning cold as the sun rises above a polling station located in the suburb of Mbare in Zimbabwe's capital Harare

Zimbabwean voters queue to cast their ballots in the country's general elections in Harare

Zimbabwean voters queue to cast their ballots in the country's general elections in Harare

Zimbabwe votes in an election that could, if deemed credible, tilt the country toward recovery after years of economic collapse and repression under former leader Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe votes in an election that could, if deemed credible, tilt the country toward recovery after years of economic collapse and repression under former leader Robert Mugabe

A man casts his ballot in a polling station located in the suburb of Mbare in Zimbabwe's capital

A man casts his ballot in a polling station located in the suburb of Mbare in Zimbabwe's capital

Zimbabweans line up to vote at the Fitchela primary school in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. The vote will be a first for the nation following a military takeover and the ousting of Mugabe

Zimbabweans line up to vote at the Fitchela primary school in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. The vote will be a first for the nation following a military takeover and the ousting of Mugabe

In his televised address yesterday Mr Mugabe, who has backed a new political party that is part of a coalition supporting Mr Chamisa, said: 'He seems to be doing well at his rallies.'

He added: 'Whoever wins, we wish him well. And let us accept the verdict.'

President Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to respect the peace at the polls today, saying that 'We are one people, with one dream and one destiny. We will sink or swim together.' 

He was later seen casting his vote in his constituency of Kwekwe, about 125 miles south of the capital, Harare.

Statement: Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses media during a surprise press conference at his residence 'Blue Roof ' in Harare on Sunday

Statement: Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses media during a surprise press conference at his residence 'Blue Roof ' in Harare on Sunday

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa leaves the polling station after casting his ballot

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa leaves the polling station after casting his ballot

COURT OVERTURNS GUCCI GRACE'S IMMUNITY

South Africa's High Court has overturned a decision by the government to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity after she was accused of whipping a woman with an electric cord.  

South African model Gabriella Engels claims an irate Mrs Mugabe burst into a hotel room where she was to meet one of Mugabe's sons last August and started attacking her.

'Gucci Grace' returned to Zimbabwe immediately after South Africa granted her diplomatic immunity, allowing her to evade prosecution for assault. 

Judge Bashier Vally today ruled that the decision to grant diplomatic immunity was inconsistent with the constitution. 

Mnangagwa wore a scarf with the country's national colors as he arrived at a primary school converted into a polling station, and chatted briefly with election workers after casting his ballot.

He told reporters that he is committed to a Zimbabwe in which people have the 'freedom to express their views, negative or positive.' He called the vote peaceful.

And he took the criticism of him by former leader Robert Mugabe on Sunday in stride, saying that 'He is a citizen ... He can engage me anytime.'

Many in Zimbabwe knew no other leader but Mr Mugabe, who led the country for 37 years and since independence from white minority rule in 1980. 

What began with optimism crumbled into repression, alleged vote-rigging, intimidation of the opposition, violent land seizures from white farmers and years of international sanctions.

The country hopes a credible vote today could get the sanctions lifted and bring badly needed investment for a collapsed economy. 

Message:  Mugabe, 94, said he would not support Zanu-PF, the ruling party he long controlled, nor President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Message:  Mugabe, 94, said he would not support Zanu-PF, the ruling party he long controlled, nor President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Speaking out: Yesterday's press conference was the first since the former dictatpr was ousted from power in November last year

Speaking out: Yesterday's press conference was the first since the former dictatpr was ousted from power in November last year

Taking sides: Mr Mugabe has backed a new political party that is part of a coalition supporting Mr Chamisa. Pictured: The former dictator and his wife, Grace

Taking sides: Mr Mugabe has backed a new political party that is part of a coalition supporting Mr Chamisa. Pictured: The former dictator and his wife, Grace

Mr Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe confidante, has tried to recast himself as a voice for reform, inviting back dozens of election observers and pledging a free and fair vote.

'I have during all this time liked our return to conditionality, our return to legality, an environment in which our people are free,' Mr Mugabe told reporters.

But he blamed 'evil and malicious characters' for his removal from power, which was met with a joyous outpouring by thousands in the capital, Harare. He said he resigned to avoid 'bloodshed'. 

Mugabe says he never thought Mnangagwa would turn against him

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President Mugabe's son 'pours $300 bottles of champagne over his 60K watch he boasted he got because "daddy run the whole country" as he parties while Zimbabwe starves'

Robert Mugabe detained by Zimbabwe army

  • Robert Mugabe, 93, and his family have been detained after Zimbabwe's military staged 'bloodless correction'
  • Tanks and soldiers seen on the streets of the capital Harare and loud explosions were heard in the city centre
  • It came as the military delivered a TV address denying that there had been a coup and that Mugabe was 'safe' 
  • Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, sacked by Robert Mugabe last week, has returned from exile 
  • Armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets and Britons and Americans have been advised to stay indoors
  • There are claims that Mugabe's wife has fled to Namibia after being allowed to leave the country last night 
  • South African President Jacob Zuma has spoken to Mugabe and says he is 'fine' but 'confined to his home'

CCTV shows Poppy Appeal tin theft at Hampshire McColls outlet
First Lady: Grace Mugabe, 52, pictured with her husband, has been seen as being a successor to her husband after her opponent was fired

First Lady: Grace Mugabe, 52, pictured with her husband, has been seen as being a successor to her husband after her opponent was fired

Deposed vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (in the dark blue suit) has been pictured after returning from exile

Deposed vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (in the dark blue suit) has been pictured after returning from exile

Soldiers and an armoured vehicle are pictured on patrol on a street in Harare, Zimbabwe today. The Zimbabwean military appeared to have taken control of state institutions, saying that it was 'targeting criminals' in the government

Soldiers and an armoured vehicle are pictured on patrol on a street in Harare, Zimbabwe today. The Zimbabwean military appeared to have taken control of state institutions, saying that it was 'targeting criminals' in the government

A military tank is seen with armed soldiers on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare, Zimbabwe

A military tank is seen with armed soldiers on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's military stormed the country's national broadcaster's studios last night to declare there was no coup after explosions and gunfire were heard in the capital

Zimbabwe's military stormed the country's national broadcaster's studios last night to declare there was no coup after explosions and gunfire were heard in the capital


Armed military presence on the streets of Zimbabwe capital Harare

There were reports today that police were being beaten by soldiers in Harare's central business district while a picture on social media appears to show officers sitting in a line with troops guarding them. 

Last night, Zimbabwe's military stormed the country's national broadcaster's studios to declare it is 'targeting criminals'.  

The army was praised today by the nation's influential war veterans for carrying out 'a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power.' The military will return Zimbabwe to 'genuine democracy' and make the country a 'modern model nation,' said Chris Mutsvangwa, chairman of the war veterans' association.

Last night, the military read a statement on live TV claiming this is not 'a military takeover of government' and said Mugabe was safe.

Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, a leading member of the so-called 'G40' faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party led by Mugabe's wife Grace, had also been detained by the military, a government source said.

The EU this morning called for a 'peaceful resolution' and described the crisis 'a matter of concern' for the bloc. Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed for 'everybody to refrain from violence'.

'We cannot tell how developments in Zimbabwe will play out in the days ahead and we do not know whether this marks the downfall of Mugabe or not,' Mr Johnson told the British parliament.

Britain, Johnson said, had always wanted Zimbabwe's citizens to be masters of their fate. He said Britain would do all it could to ensure that elections next year were free and fair.

'We will do all we can, with our international partners, to ensure this provides a genuine opportunity for all Zimbabweans to decide their future.'

Soldiers stormed the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC in the early hours of Wednesday, two members of staff and a human rights worker told Reuters, as staff complained they were manhandled by the military members.

A picture taken by lawyer Fadzayi Mahere appeared to show a line of police officers sitting on the ground in the capital being watched by soldiers. Mahere, who aims to be an MP in the city, took the picture from the window of her office. It is not known what happened to the men

A picture taken by lawyer Fadzayi Mahere appeared to show a line of police officers sitting on the ground in the capital being watched by soldiers. Mahere, who aims to be an MP in the city, took the picture from the window of her office. It is not known what happened to the men

This was the scene in the centre of Harare in Zimbabwe this morning as soldiers patrolled the streets after a 'bloodless transition' of power
This was the scene in the centre of Harare in Zimbabwe this morning as soldiers patrolled the streets after a 'bloodless transition' of power

This was the scene in the centre of Harare in Zimbabwe this morning as soldiers patrolled the streets after a 'bloodless correction' of power

Checkpoint: Tanks were scene on the streets of Harare this morning after it emerged that the president, Robert Mugabe, had been detained

Checkpoint: Tanks were scene on the streets of Harare this morning after it emerged that the president, Robert Mugabe, had been detained

Armed soldiers search a vehicle on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare, Zimbabwe

Armed soldiers search a vehicle on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare, Zimbabwe

Overnight, at least three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets

Overnight, at least three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets

Two soldiers sitting in a tank on the outskirts of Harare where a suspected coup took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Two soldiers sitting in a tank on the outskirts of Harare where a suspected coup took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, a leading member of the so-called 'G40' faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party led by Mugabe's wife Grace, had been detained by the military, a government source said. The front gate to his property (pictured) was ripped off as he was detained, it has been claimed

Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, a leading member of the so-called 'G40' faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party led by Mugabe's wife Grace, had been detained by the military, a government source said. The front gate to his property (pictured) was ripped off as he was detained, it has been claimed

Military vehicles were seen patrolling the streets of the capital Harare today after it emerged that Mugabe and his family had been arrested

Military vehicles were seen patrolling the streets of the capital Harare today after it emerged that Mugabe and his family had been arrested

Zimbabweans queue to draw money outside a bank in Harare, Zimbabwe this morning amid uncertainty following the so-called 'bloodless correction' of power

Zimbabweans queue to draw money outside a bank in Harare, Zimbabwe this morning amid uncertainty following the so-called 'bloodless correction' of power

A sign to 'Mugabe International Airport' had been partially covered up to remove any reference to the dictator

A sign to 'Mugabe International Airport' had been partially covered up to remove any reference to the dictator

After taking control of the station, the military released a statement which denied a coup was underway, adding that Mugabe and his family were 'safe and sound and their security is guaranteed'.

They added that the army were targeting people who 'were committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country. 

Zimbabwe military's statement in full after seizing power

Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, said on national television: 

'We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander in chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG 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 people to influence the current purging that 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 assure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed.'

'As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy,' the statement continued. 

This morning, the TV state broadcaster played liberation struggle songs, while many citizens in Harare shopped at markets, drove to work or queued outside banks despite the turmoil. 

But there were signs that Harare may already be preparing for life after Mugabe. This morning, pictures emerged on social media showing how his name had been removed from a street sign.

A sign to 'Mugabe International Airport' had been partially covered up to remove any reference to the dictator. 

There was uncertainty over where Mugabe was being held this morning before South African president Jacob Zuma claimed the veteran leader was under house arrest.

'President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,' the South African government said in a statement.

'Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community, is sending Special Envoys to Zimbabwe.'

South Africa will send its intelligence and defence ministers, the statement said.

South Africa is Zimbabwe's powerful southern neighbour and is home to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean migrants.

It has long pursued a policy of quiet diplomacy with Mugabe as Zimbabwe has previously been engulfed by a string of serious political and economic crises.

Tensions have been rising in the land-locked African country after Zimbabwe's head of the military, General Constantino Chiwenga, challenged Mugabe over his decision to sack Mnangagwa - nicknamed The Crocodile. The move was widely seen as a power play to make way for his wife Grace to succeed him. 

Mnangagwa, who has close ties to the military, had been seen as Mugabe's natural successor, and after he was ousted, he took aim at Mugabe and his supporters.

Intervention: An armoured personnel carrier was seen in the road by an intersection in Harare as Zimbabwean soldiers regulate traffic in Harare

Intervention: An armoured personnel carrier was seen in the road by an intersection in Harare as Zimbabwean soldiers regulate traffic in Harare

Soldiers stand guard at an intersection in Harare after the military announced leader Robert Mugabe was in custody

Soldiers stand guard at an intersection in Harare after the military announced leader Robert Mugabe was in custody

Armed soldiers in armored personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in Harare, while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks (pictured) in order to draw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country's ongoing financial crisis

Armed soldiers in armored personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in Harare, while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks (pictured) in order to draw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country's ongoing financial crisis

Zimbabwe's army said Wednesday it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and is securing government offices and patrolling the capital's streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster

Zimbabwe's army said Wednesday it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and is securing government offices and patrolling the capital's streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster

He said said Zanu-PF was 'controlled by undisciplined, egotistical and self-serving minnows who derive their power not from the people and the party but from only two individuals in the form of the first family'. 

The ruling ZANU-PF party hit back at Chiwenga's threat, saying it would never succumb to military pressure and described the statement by the armed forces chief as 'treasonable conduct'. 

Tanks had been making their way to the city centre throughout Tuesday as tensions reached boiling point.

Then at least three explosions were heard in Harare overnight, sparking fears of a coup which sent shockwaves around Zimbabwe.

Armed soldiers were also reportedly seen assaulting passers-by in the capital and loading ammunition near a group of four military vehicles in an unprecedented challenge to Mugabe.

The Zimbabwean President's house, where gunfire was heard this morning, was also surrounded by soldiers, but speculation suggested it was for his own protection amid suggestions his 37-year reign was coming to an end.  

Zimbabwe's envoy to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, had earlier reported there was no coup, adding that the government was 'intact'. 

Such takeovers not looked upon favourably bu the African Union (AU).

In 2015, coup leaders were hit with AU sanctions a year after an uprising against leader Blaise Compaore.

A similar view is held by regional block, the Southern African Development Community.

South African government spokesman Clayson Monyela told media in Johannesburg: that 'one of the founding principles and statutes of the African Union, which SADC as a region subscribes to, is that we do not accept nor recognise any unconstitutional change of government.'

A young man washes a minibus adorned with a picture of President Robert Mugabe this morning at a bus terminal in Harare
A tank in the middle of the road

Armed forces: A witness saw four tanks heading to Harare and two other tanks parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about 14 miles from the city

Military on the move: Yesterday, the head of the armed forces Constantino Chiwenga, openly threatened to intervene in politics if Mugabe did not stop removing veterans from government

Military on the move: Yesterday, the head of the armed forces Constantino Chiwenga, openly threatened to intervene in politics if Mugabe did not stop removing veterans from government

The world's oldest dictator: Tyrant whose savage rule was dominated by bloodshed and vote-rigging

Robert Mugabe's legacy as one of the most ruthless tyrants of modern times will remain long after his days as notorious statesman of Zimbabwe are over.

What could turn out to be the 93-year-old leader's final night in charge of the troubled south African nation concluded in typically chaotic fashion with the army saying it had Mugabe and his ambitious wife Grace in custody following a takeover of the state broadcaster.

Tensions escalated after the first lady appeared to be positioned to replace Mugabe's recently fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, leading many in Zimbabwe to suspect she could eventually succeed her husband.

The elderly politician's second wife - after Sarah Hayfron died in 1992 - remained unpopular with some Zimbabweans because of her lavish spending, including in London's plush stores, while many around her struggled against the country's crippling economy.

Ageing: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, 93, who has been in power since 1980, is in increasingly fragile health and makes regular trips abroad for medical treatment

Ageing: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, 93, who has been in power since 1980, is in increasingly fragile health and makes regular trips abroad for medical treatment

Tensions over the succession of Zimbabwe's ageing president, Robert Mugabe, have erupted into the open, pitching First Lady Grace Mugabe against Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

In 2008 Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood, awarded in 1994, over his abuse of human rights and 'abject disregard' for democracy, the Foreign Office said at the time. The Queen approved the annulment

In 2008 Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood, awarded in 1994, over his abuse of human rights and 'abject disregard' for democracy, the Foreign Office said at the time. The Queen approved the annulment

Inflation was only brought under control when the government abandoned the Zimbabwe currency and used the US dollar as its main medium of trade. Last year this was replaced with a new currency called bond notes.

As his dictatorial reign continued, many voiced their concerns about the power-obsessed leader. The then Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, cut up his dog collar on live television in a dramatic protest.

In 2008 Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood, awarded in 1994, over his abuse of human rights and 'abject disregard' for democracy, the Foreign Office said at the time. The Queen approved the annulment.

But he was admired by some. In late 2015 he was awarded China's alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize, the Confucius Peace Prize, for what its committee called his inspired national leadership and service to pan-Africanism.

Mugabe had two sons and one daughter with Grace, while his first marriage produced one son who died.

Zimbabwe President's long rule at a glance:

1980: Mugabe named prime minister after independence elections

1982: Military action begins in Matabeleland against perceived uprising; government is accused of killing thousands of civilians

1987: Mugabe changes constitution and becomes president

1994: Mugabe receives honorary British knighthood

2000: Land seizures of white-owned farms begin; Western donors cut off aid

2005: United States calls Zimbabwe an 'outpost of tyranny'

2008: Mugabe and opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirayi agree to share power after contested election; Britain's Queen Elizabeth II annuls Mugabe's honorary knighthood

2011: Prime Minister Tsvangirayi declares power-sharing a failure amid violence

2013: Mugabe wins seventh term; opposition alleges election fraud

2016: (hash)ThisFlag protest movement emerges; independence war veterans turn on Mugabe, calling him 'dictatorial'

2017: Mugabe begins campaigning for 2018 elections

November 6: Mugabe fires deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, appearing to position first lady Grace Mugabe for vice president post

November 15: Army announces it has Mugabe and his wife in custody as military appears to take control

Social media users said the army headquarters in the city centre were sealed off, with no one allowed in or out, and that road blocks were in place outside the barracks of the presidential guard.

Others said they had seen tanks heading towards the presidential guard compound in the western suburb of Dzivarasekwa. Conflicting reports from the impoverished southern African country claimed the borders had been sealed and the airport shut.

The military has been a key pillar of Mugabe's regime and has helped him keep control despite economic ruin, widespread anti-government protests, opposition challenges and international sanctions.

But there has been growing disquiet over threats against senior figures inside Zanu-PF, including Mr Mnangagwa.

The veteran of the Seventies war that led to the country's independence fell from favour after he spoke out against a party faction led by Mrs Mugabe, saying it was 'plundering the country'.

After Mugabe accused him of using witchcraft in a plot to take power, Mr Mnangagwa fled the country with his family, but vowed to return and lead a rebellion against the Mugabes, backed by the country's war veterans and armed forces.

Before he went into exile, Mr Mnangagwa told Mugabe that Zanu-PF was 'not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please'.

This was the scene along Robert Mugabe road in Harare, last night as the country's military appeared to seize control of the country

This was the scene along Robert Mugabe road in Harare, last night as the country's military appeared to seize control of the country

The key incidents in Zimbabwe that led to the suspected coup 

July: Robert Mugabe warns military leaders against interfering in the fight for succession, saying: 'Politics shall always lead the gun, and not the gun politics. Otherwise it will be a coup'

November 6: Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa – nicknamed The Crocodile – is fired by Mugabe

November 13: Zimbabwe's head of the military says he could 'step in' to end President Mugabe's 'purge' of opponents

November 14:  Ruling ZANU-PF party to hits back saying it would never succumb to military pressure and described the statement by the armed forces chief as 'treasonable conduct' 

It said: 'We are aware of reports of military vehicles moving on the outskirts of Harare. We are monitoring the situation closely.

'You should avoid political activity, or activities which could be considered political, including political discussions in public places and criticism of the president.

'You should avoid all demonstrations and rallies. The authorities have sometimes used force to suppress demonstrations.'  

Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabwe has known in 37 years of independence - first as the chair of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANY), then as leader of the ZANY party as Prime Minister and then President.

Under Mugabe's leadership the GDP of Zimbabwe has fallen by almost 50 per cent, according to the United Nations.

The country suffered badly during the recession and experienced hyperinflation and a widespread lack of food and other essentials.

Things have slightly recovered, but are still significantly worse than when the family took power. 

Meanwhile, the Mugabe's themselves live their lives bathing in eye-watering luxury. 

The couple's two sons, Chatunga and his brother Robert Jr, are well-known for their hard partying and have been seen flashing their riches on social media.

This week Chatunga posted a video of himself pouring hundreds of pounds worth of champagne over a £45,000 diamond-encrusted wristwatch,

The brothers caused an international incident earlier this year while in South Africa, after the disappeared on a wild night out, prompting Mrs Mugabe to go looking for them.

Finding 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels instead, Mrs Mugabe allegedly beat her over the head with an electrical plug when she was unable to say where the boys had gone.

That led to a warrant being issued for her arrest, though she was eventually granted diplomatic immunity and allowed to leave the country.

Mrs Mugabe is currently suing  a Lebanese jeweller for failing to deliver a £1million diamond ring she bought to mark her 21st wedding anniversary with the dictator.

Is the Crocodile any better than Mugabe? Deposed vice-president who has seized power in Zimbabwe is a London-educated former spymaster 'who orchestrated 1980s massacre of 20,000 opponents' 

In 1983, Mnangagwa led a major crackdown in Matabeleland, in the southwest of Zimbabwe. Tens of thousands of people were killed. Pictured: Bodies found in Matabeleland after the massacre

In 1983, Mnangagwa led a major crackdown in Matabeleland, in the southwest of Zimbabwe. Tens of thousands of people were killed. Pictured: Bodies found in Matabeleland after the massacre

Mnangagwa was mentioned by, among others, the tycoon Roland Rowland at the time of the Gukurahundi massacres. Pictured: Mugabe (centre) and Mnangagwa (right) together 
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  • Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe posted video on Snapchat of outrageous stunt 
  • Shows two bottles of £200 champagne being upended over £45,000 watch  
  • Chatunga and brother Robert Jr are known for their party-hard lifestyles 
  • Pair were at centre of an international incident earlier this year in South Africa when mother Grace allegedly beat a model while looking for them

One of Robert Mugabe's sons has filmed himself pouring hundreds of pounds worth of champagne over his diamond-encrusted wristwatch.

Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe uploaded the video to Snapchat hours after bragging that he got the £45,000 timepiece because 'daddy run the whole country'.

The footage, filmed in a nightclub, shows Chatunga enjoying a life of unimaginable wealth while almost three quarters of the country lives below the poverty line.

President Mugabe's sons pour champagne on thousand dollar watches

Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe posted a video of himself pouring champagne over his own wristwatch after bragging about the £45,000 timepiece bought by 'daddy'

Chatunga (right) filmed the stunt in a nightclub in the city of Sandton, South Africa, where he lives a hard-partying lifestyle with his brother Robert Jr (left)

Chatunga (right) filmed the stunt in a nightclub in the city of Sandton, South Africa, where he lives a hard-partying lifestyle with his brother Robert Jr (left)

Chatunga and his brother Robert Jr, the two sons of Robert and Grace Mugabe, are well-known for their hard partying lives of luxury.

The pair caused an international incident earlier this year while in South Africa, after the disappeared on a wild night out, prompting Mrs Mugabe to go looking for them.

Finding 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels instead, Mrs Mugabe allegedly beat her over the head with an electrical plug when she was unable to say where the boys had gone.

That led to a warrant being issued for her arrest, though she was eventually granted diplomatic immunity and allowed to leave the country.

In the latest incident Chatunga films himself, brother Robert, and friends partying in a nightclub in Sandton, South Africa, where they are based, according to News 24.

Robert is briefly seen with his arm around a girl before the footage cuts to an image of Chatunga's wrist, complete with watch and gold chain.

Robert is briefly seen in the footage with his arm around a girl (left) before the video cuts to Chatunga performing the champagne stunt (right)

The champagne in question is Armand de Brignac Ace Of Spades Gold, which retails around £200. An empty bottle is seen on a table along with other expensive brands (right)

While it appears to be the same watch he previously bragged about online, it is not clear because of the champagne already flowing over his arm.

The bottle is Armand de Brignac Ace Of Spades gold, which retails for around £200.

A second hand then appears in the frame with another bottle and begins emptying that on the watch too, before both of the empty bottles are displayed for the camera.

More bottles are then displayed on a table before the footage ends.

The video appeared online just weeks after Mrs Mugabe announced she is suing a Lebanese jeweller for failing to deliver a £1million diamond ring she bought to mark her 21st wedding anniversary with the dictator.

Ahmed claims to have received threats from officials from Zimbabwe's spy agencyas well from Grace herself and her son from her first marriage, Russell Goreraza 

Goreraza himself is also no stranger to a life of luxury, having reportedly imported two Rolls Royce limousines worth £4million into the country recently.

Chatunga and Robert Jr are the sons of Grace and Robert Mugabe (pictured together today). The boys caused an international incident earlier this year when Mrs Mugabe was accused of beating a model over the head with a plug while looking for them in South Africa

Chatunga and Robert Jr are the sons of Grace and Robert Mugabe (pictured together today). The boys caused an international incident earlier this year when Mrs Mugabe was accused of beating a model over the head with a plug while looking for them in South Africa

Mrs Mugabe is the favourite to take power from her 93-year-old husband after he sacked his deputy this week for 'disloyalty'

Mrs Mugabe is the favourite to take power from her 93-year-old husband after he sacked his deputy this week for 'disloyalty'

Grace Mugabe is currently suing a Lebanese businessman for failing to deliver a £1million diamond ring she bought to celebrate her wedding anniversary

Grace Mugabe is currently suing a Lebanese businessman for failing to deliver a £1million diamond ring she bought to celebrate her wedding anniversary

Mugabe wears jacket embellished with his face for 93rd birthday

After the vehicles arrived he is said to have thrown a luxurious party which included free-flowing champagne.

Mrs Mugabe is favourite to succeed her 93-year-old husband after he fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa over claims of 'disloyalty' this week.

Mr Mnangagwa was accused of fanning the flames of unrest after Mrs Mugabe was booed at a rally, before being sacked from his post.

The powerful youth league of the ruling Zanu-PF party quickly endorsed her to replace Mr Mnangagwa, though no announcement has yet been made.

Under Mugabe's leadership the GDP of Zimbabwe has fallen by almost 50 per cent, according to the United Nations.

The country suffered badly during the recession and experienced hyperinflation and a widespread lack of food and other essentials.

Things have recovered since then, but are still significantly worse than when the family took power.

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Comment by cheryl on July 31, 2018 at 11:23pm

If he has been in office for 35 years, he has been there for 30 years too long.  There should have been at least 6 turnovers.  These creeps just want power.  Their countries look like crap because they don't have time to develop them.  They spend all their time looking over their shoulders trying to keep anyone from challenging their throne.  Why is a 93 year old man running a country?  How does he think he gets to turn it over to his wife?WTF!!!

Comment by HandsomeMan on July 30, 2018 at 3:14pm

some of you stay brainwash by whites. If you dont know about the great mugabe get a fukking passport and travel starting with ignorant stroklyn. Fukking attention seeking dummy. Cf need to study fukking africa too before posting bs headline.

W

Europeana ass kissers

Comment by mr1stroke on November 16, 2017 at 5:06pm

lol he is 93 he dont care about nobody

Comment by vaughn mitchell on November 16, 2017 at 5:01pm
@gordon Hamlet,so what the hell has Mugabe, and his wife done for the country,except rip off the country,his son is pouring $300, bottles of champagne, while his people are starving, his old ass need to go. Damn dictator.
Comment by Susette Bookal on November 16, 2017 at 7:27am
A black leader for decades and yet only his family has benefited! #shamefulanddisgraceful
Comment by mr1stroke on November 15, 2017 at 11:57pm
None of thise mufuckers are great, they are all killing their own people, this is sad when people talks aabout Africa suppose to be an axample for the reat of us
Comment by Gordon Hamlet on November 15, 2017 at 6:57pm

@rastafari...you guys have fallen for the Western swindle...Poverty in Zimbabwe was created by the Western world who refused to allow trade and growth in that country by sanctions...The man they are going to put in power now will be a stooge for America..Look at him give back the land to the whites and murder his own people and America will look away..and call him a great leader...

Comment by autry chambliss on November 15, 2017 at 4:24pm

Mugabe forever - Right fist up -- Respect

Comment by caribmama on November 15, 2017 at 2:39pm

Walk those bastards through the streets naked. Strip them of everything. You kill people that look like you and keep them staving.SMDH!

Comment by mr1stroke on November 15, 2017 at 12:57pm

they dont want that old man, its going to be a war

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