Soldiers and an armoured vehicle patrol on a street in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe. Picture: Xinhua/Chen Yaqin

United Nations - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for calm and restraint in Zimbabwe on Thursday after the military seized power.

"The UN Secretary-General is monitoring the evolving situation in Zimbabwe. He appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, is of vital importance," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Read: A timeline of Robert Mugabe's three decades in power

#Zimbabwe army has Mugabe, wife 'safe' in custody

We are in control of Zimbabwe, says military

Zimbabwe's military said it was holding President Robert Mugabe and his family safe while targeting "criminals" in the entourage of the only ruler the country has known in its 37 years of independence.