SADC troika calls extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe

AU head: 'We will never accept a coup'

SACP: It's difficult to condemn Zimbabwe army's actions

Yet he has no wish to avenge the death with the blood of Mr Mugabe; reflecting the often complex relationship between the 93-year-old president and the country he has governed since independence.

Guinea's president, who is the current head of the African Union (AU), has reiterated his view that the continental body "will never accept the military coup" in Zimbabwe, the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

President Mugabe's sons study and reside in South Africa.

Across the country, Zimbabweans were enjoying freedom they haven't had in years. The military remained in the streets of Harare yesterday as Southern African regional officials were meeting on the crisis.

"It is their delayed reaction in this process that has led us to this point", said Mafume. Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former security chief and life-long Mugabe confidant known as "The Crocodile" who was axed as Vice-President earlier this month, is the key player. "If he steps down we have no assurance of how the next guy is going to be", said Gweru.

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Commenting on the SADC resolution that it was against the unconstitutional removal of democratically elected governments, People's Democratic Party (PDP) national spokesperson Jacob Mafume said SADC must seize this opportunity to push for an orderly transition.

"I think they are avoiding the consequences that might come with their crimes, these people used to be friends but now they are turning against their own friends".

"South Africa has not distinguished itself in the past whether it was under Mbeki or through the [Southern African Development Community (SADC)] in really taking leadership on trying to positively influence things in Zimbabwe", she said. "He will exile in South Africa".

Fuelling speculation that this plan might be rolling into action, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, 65, who has been receiving cancer treatment in Britain and South Africa, returned to Harare late on Wednesday, his spokesman said.

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