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Christian charity prays for 'peace and stability' in Zimbabwe as army takes over

by Eno Adeogun

While the army has denied a coup has taken place, South African President Jacob Zuma has claimed that President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest in the capital Harare and it's believed his wife has fled the country.

World Vision's National Director in the country, Emmanuel Isch told Premier that the charity is "praying for wise decisions to be made by leadership".

Speaking during News Hour, Isch said: "People are very resilient but at the same time there are issues that need to be addressed in terms of the economy, social issues and so on.

"But we're hopeful that there will be some solid changes and good decisions made to really allow the country to move forward."

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The foreign secretary has also voiced his concerns about the ongoing situation in the Southern African nation.

Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the situation is "fluid" and said the UK is appealing to everyone in Zimbabwe to refrain from violence.

He said the Foreign Office and British Embassy are working to keep around 20 thousand British nationals safe.

On Tuesday evening, at least three explosions were heard in the capital and military vehicles were seen in the streets.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Troops on Wednesday were patrolling Harare, after they seized state TV and said they were targeting "criminals".

BBC correspondents have reported that the move may be a bid to replace Mr Mugabe with his sacked deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mr Mnangagwa's dismissal last week left Mr Mugabe's wife as the president's likely successor.

AP Photo/File

The 93-year-old leader has dominated the country's political scene since it gained independence from the UK in 1980.

Isch told Premier his immediate hopes for the situation.

He explained: "We have a number of ongoing programmes in the country so we want things to be stable, for the crisis and the issues to be dealt with and for us and other organisations to continue to be able to do the work that we're doing around the country."

The US Embassy closed to the public on Wednesday and encouraged citizens to shelter in place, citing "the ongoing political uncertainty through the night".

The British Embassy issued a similar warning, citing "reports of unusual military activity".

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