November 15, 2017 / 11:22 AM / a year ago

Coup? What coup? Zimbabwe's Herald misses army move on Mugabe

Military vehicles and soldiers patrol the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 15,2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - In the annals of missed stories, it ranks up there.

When Wednesday’s edition of The Herald, Zimbabwe’s main state newspaper, hit the streets, Zimbabweans were surprised to learn that talk of ructions between President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party and military chief Constantino Chiwenga were unfounded.

“ZANU-PF unfazed by Chiwenga,” the Herald declared on its front page, reporting on the party’s denunciation of the military chief as a traitor the previous day.

Most people in Harare had spent the night glued to social media and the Internet for updates on a coup slowly unfolding against 93-year-old Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s leader of the last 37 years.

Just after 4 a.m., an army spokesman in camouflage fatigues appeared on state media to announce that the army had seized power. The final line of his declaration: “To the media, we urge you report fairly and responsibly”.

Reporting by Ed Cropley; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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