>> After 37 years under President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's military has seized control, but denies it's staging a coup. Hours after armored vehicles were spotted closing in on the capital Harare, soldiers stormed the state broadcaster ZedBC early on Wednesday, broadcasting a live message to the nation.>> The situation in our country has moved to another level.
>> The army has outlined what it calls a mission, but it says 93 year old Mugabe isn't the primary target.>> 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.
>> Among those already detained, Finance Minister Ignatious Chombord. Rumblings of a coup that could oust Mugabe begun just 24 hours after the head of the army, General Constantino Chiwenga, threatened military intervention to end a purge of his allies from Mugabe's government.>> When it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.
>> At the center of the purge, axed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was kicked out last week in what's widely been seen as a move to clear the way for Mugabe's wife Grace to succeed her husband as president. The US embassy in Harare is warning staff to stay at home due to political uncertainty.
The self-styled grand old man of African politics has led Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980 and is widely celebrated on his home continent. A stark contrast to the West, where he's seen as a dictator who's ruined one of Africa's most promising economies, and is willing to resort to violence to stay in power.