Rumours began swirling yesterday that Zimbabwe was about to experience a military coup as military vehicles began rolling into the capital city, Harare.
So far, soldiers have seized the headquarters of the country’s national broadcaster and gunfire was heard during the night in the capital. Several ministers have been arrested and there are concerns over what has happened to the country’s president, Robert Mugabe.
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A Zimbabwean army general, major general Sibusio Moyo, read out a statement on national television saying that Mugabe and his family were safe. He denied that there had been a coup, saying the military was targeting the “criminals” around the president.
Moyo said he wished to:
… make it clear that this is not a military takeover of government. We want to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country.
No one is quite sure what is going on, except a Twitter account by the name Zanu PF.
What is Zanu PF?
The account claims to be the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front, the country’s ruling party. It isn’t a verified Twitter account, though it says it is “official”.
It appears to have grown overnight – tweets from the account were gaining around 200 interactions on average, which has since gone up to over 2,000.
ZANU PF has a way of solving our own problems, the situation is stable and Zimbabwe is open for business. There was no coup, but a bloodless peaceful transition- the centre is strong and there is peace with honest leadership.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 15, 2017
Right now, the most information about Zimbabwe appears to be coming from the Zanu PF Twitter account. Here are some of the strangest messages it has posted in the past.
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The strangest tweets from the Zanu PF Twitter account
We are busy running a country. No time to respond to the many bored tortoises on Twitter.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) August 15, 2017
Lies and truth seem not to matter. What matters is what people believe. In that regard the public play to a script that they never wrote.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) May 24, 2017
Wake up today and look at that face in the mirror, is it doing enough to support Zimbabwe? Is that face what you want it to be?
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) February 16, 2017
Rihanna also has a birthday today, how blessed is she to share this day with our founding father of our nation, the undying comrade Mugabe?!
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) February 21, 2016
Retweet if you want a new iPhone.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) December 3, 2016
Retweet to stop corruption.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 24, 2016
Never underestimate the strength of a goat.
— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 23, 2016
What’s going to happen next?
Mugabe is set to fight what could be his final election last year. The 94-year-old fired his vice president last week, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and many expected Mugabe to appoint his wife, Grace Mugabe, to be his second in command. This is expected to occur at the Zanu-PF special congress next month.