After a day in which military vehicles were witnessed rolling into the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, an army spokesman has appeared on state broadcaster ZBC in the early hours of Wednesday morning to declare it had taken charge.

The statement denied a coup had taken place:

This is not a military takeover.

The spokesman said President Robert Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound” and that their safety would be guaranteed.

The army was, he added, “targeting criminals around him”.

Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known in 37 years of independence, shocked the country earlier this month when he sacked powerful vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

On Monday, Gen Constantine Chiwenga, the head of Zimbabwe’s military, called a press conference to warn that troops could intervene if long-term political allies continued to suffer.

We will have all the latest developments here as they happen.

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