#Zimbabwe turmoil worries SADC Organ Troika
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Johannesburg - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika Plus on Thursday, said it noted with "great concern" the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe.
"[The] SADC Organ Troika further reaffirmed the need for SADC Member States to remain guided by their Constitutions. [The] SADC Organ Troika called upon all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to settle the political challenges through peaceful means," the short statement said.
"Having considered the unfolding situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Organ Troika recommended the convening of an urgent Extra Ordinary SADC Summit and committed to remain seized with the situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe."
The Council Chairperson Ministerial Meeting was called by SADC Chairperson, South African President Jacob Zuma, on Wednesday, to discuss the unfolding political and security situation in Zimbabwe.
The SADC Organ Troika Plus Council Chairperson Ministerial Meeting was held in Gaborone, Botswana on Thursday afternoon, and was was attended South Africa; Angola; Zambia; and Tanzania.
"The SADC Organ Troika Plus reaffirmed SADC's commitment to African Union (AU) Constitutive Act and the SADCs Democratic Principles, as they relate to the unconstitutional removal of democratically elected Governments," the statement read.
"The objective of the meeting was to consider the unfolding situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe."
In a statement issued shortly after noon on Wednesday, Zuma’s office said in his capacity as the chairman SADC, he was sending Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Minister of State Security, Advocate Bongani Bongo to Zimbabwe, as well Angola.
The situation in Zimbabwe continued to unfold after the military seized control of the capital Harare and key state broadcasters.
“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” the statement said.
“South Africa is also in contact with the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF)… The Special Envoys will also be sent to the Republic of Angola to see President Joao Lourenco, Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to brief him on the situation.”
Mugabe remained under house arrest at his Blue Roof mansion in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb, with about eight members of the presidential guard seen outside the property.
Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF) Major General Sibusiso Moyo, in a statement broadcast live on ZBC-TV and radio stations in the early hours of Wednesday, said the military’s aim was to target “criminals around the president”. The statement came after the army seized control of state television, but denied that it had carried out a coup.
On Monday, the head of the defence forces, General Constantino Chiwenga, had warned that the army would take “drastic action” if factions in the ruling Zanu-PF did not stop a purge of party members with military backgrounds.
This followed last week’s sacking of war veteran Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He was locked in a power struggle with Mugabe’s wife Grace, who is supported by the youthful “G40” party faction. Mnangagwa had fled to South Africa but was reported to have returned to Zimbabwe to take control of government.