Robert Mugabe addressing party members and supporters gathered at his party headquarters.- AFP
Harare - The night's action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military's supporters praised it as a "bloodless correction".
Zimbabwe's army said on Wednesday it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and was securing government offices and patrolling the capital's streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster.
The night's action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military's supporters praised it as a "bloodless correction". South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said he spoke with Mugabe, who was "fine" but confined to his home.
The whiplash developments followed Mugabe's firing of his deputy, which had appeared to position the first lady, Grace Mugabe, to replace Emmerson Mnangagwa as one of the country's two vice-presidents at a party conference next month. But the first lady has proved unpopular among some Zimbabweans, and Mnangagwa had significant support from the military.
It was not clear on Wednesday where Mnangagwa was, though he fled the country last week citing threats to him and his family.
Armed soldiers in armoured personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in Harare, while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks in order to draw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country's ongoing financial crisis.