After 37 years as president of Zimbabwe, the 93-year-old was detained by the Zimbabwean army as part of a coup on Tuesday night.
It is not yet clear if Mugabe will be deposed. The dictator is now confined to his ‘Blue Roof’ mansion in Harare, where the army insists he is “safe and sound”.
Mugabe is being held with his wife Grace and two key members of the G40 political factions in Harare, a source told Reuters.
There were conflicting reports yesterday that Grace had fled to neighbouring Namibia, though the Namibian government later dismissed the claims.
Where is Robert Mugabe now?
Mugabe is under house arrest at his Blue Roof mansion located in Borrowdale, just north of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. The house has 25 bedrooms and sits on a huge 44-acre plot of land that includes two lakes.
Military officials have described the takeover as a “bloodless transition” and there is mounting speculation that Mugabe could be forced to resign.
Catholic priest Fidelis Mukonori is reportedly acting as a middle-man between Mugabe and the military generals who want to block his wife Grace succeeding him.
However, talks have reportedly stalled, with Mugabi insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler.
The coup was sparked after Mugabe sacked lifelong aide and 1970s liberation war veteran, Emmerson Mnangagwa last week.
Also known as ‘The Crocodile, Mnangagwa was in pole position to succeed Mugabe until his progress was impeded by Grace’s the rapid political assent.
His dismissal effectively cleared a path for Grace to the presidency and appears to have been the trigger for the army to take control.
Mugabe has been president of Zimbabwe since 1980 when the country gained independence from the British. The despot’s calamitous, and at times violent, rule has destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.
Read more: ZIMBABWE COUP LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES
Speaking on state media on Wednesday morning, Major General SB Moyo said: “We wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government.
“What the Zimbabwe defence forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.”
“He also stressed that the army only wants to deal with people who “were committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country”.
“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normal,” he added.