Mugabe makes first public appearance since military takeover

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe arrives to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe showed up at the graduation ceremony of Zimbabwe Open University in Harare on Friday morning, local media reports say.

The appearance was the long-ruling leader’s first since the army seized control of the country on Tuesday.

The 93-year-old appeared without his wife, Grace, and Higher and Tertiary education minister Jonathan Moyo, who is reportedly in the custody of the army, Zimbabwe Newsday reports.

Mr. Mugabe’s appearance came moments after the military said progress was being achieved in the ongoing negotiations between the embattled leader and military leaders.

The talk is being brokered by South African Development Community representatives who were sent to the country by South African President Jacob Zuma.

Mr. Mugabe was placed on a house arrest following the coup on Tuesday, and was seen for the first time in a group photo with military leaders and negotiators on Thursday evening.

He has reportedly refused to step down, insisting he is the only legitimate leader of the country.


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