November 2017 Military Takeover in Zimbabwe (Timeline)

This is a developing event and we'll be updating it as more details come

13 November 2017

On 13 November 2017, following the dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa from the post Vice President of Zimbabwe and from Zanu-PF days later, the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Constantino Chiwenga, and other 60 generals (Except ZRP head, Augustine Chihuri) held a press conference and released a press statement warning that the military would not hesitate to step in to solve the problems in Zanu-PF that had resulted in a purge of Zanu-PF members with a liberation war background.

14 November

On the morning of 14 November, the Zanu-PF Youth League under the leadership of Kudzai Chipanga released a statement that said they were prepared to die defending the legitimate presidency of Robert Mugabe: "Defending the revolution and our Leader and President is an ideal we live for and if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for."[1]

Later that afternoon several social media and traditional media outlets reported that several army tanks had been cited in, around and on highways leading to Harare.[2]

On the same afternoon Zanu-PF party’s national spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo issued a statement accusing Chiwenga of treasonous intentions. Khaya Moyo said in the statement that Chiwenga's utterances were meant to "incite insurrection and violent challenge to the Constitutional Order."[3]

In the evening reports started coming confirming that the army had taken over Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the national TV broadcaster.

The United States embassy in Harare announced that it would be closed the following day, due to the uncertainty in the country.

15 November 2016

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Leadership Seniority Structure.jpg

Soon after midnight, the takeover of ZBC was confirmed with a Major General Sibusiso Moyo coming on TV to announce a statement from the army. Through the broadcast, the army assured Zimbabweans and the world that President Robert Mugabe and his family were safe and that their security was guaranteed. He said the takeover was only targeting criminals around Mugabe that were "causing social and economic suffering in the country".

The statement separately addressed Civil Servants, the Judiciary, Members of Parliament, generality of the people of Zimbabwe, Political Parties, youth, Churches and Religious Organisations in Zimbabwe, the diaspora, war veterans, members of the Defense Forces, Traditional Leaders, other security services and the media on what they were to expect. It warned other security services that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response."

Reports in the morning said that Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and Zanu-PF head of the Youth League, Kudzai Chipanga had been arrested.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that Emmerson Mnangagwa was back in the country and was now at Manyame Air Base.

Around 1130hrs, President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, released a statement on behalf of SADC that said he noted with great concern the unfolding political situation in Zimbabwe and called for calm and restraint. He later said that he had spoken to President Robert Mugabe who had confirmed that he was 'confined' to his home and that he was fine. He also said that an envoy had been sent to Harare to meet Mugabe and the military commanders.


At 1400hrs, via Twitter, the Presidenct of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, "called for calm, peace and respect for the constitution of Zimbabwe" and the avoidance of uneccessary conflict.

Pictures of a bullet riddled house start circulating on WhatsApp, with reports saying that Minister of Finance Ignatius Chombo was arrested after gunfire was exchanged between his security and members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) the night of 14 November.


  1. Maveriq, Don’t Hide Behind The Barrel Of A Gun: Zanu- PF Youth League Tells General Chiwenga, Pindula News, Published:14 November 2017, Retrieved: 15 November 2017
  2. Tayana, Army tanks seen in and around Harare after Chiwenga warns Mugabe and Zanu-PF, Pindula News, Published:14 November 2017, Retrieved: 15 November 2017
  3. Tayana, UPDATED: “Govt will never succumb to any threats”: Zanu-PF responds to Chiwenga’s warning, Pindula News, Published:14 November 2017, Retrieved: 15 November 2017