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President Robert Mugabe appears in public amidst political uncertainty- video

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe appeared in public for the time after few days of house arrest.

He attended a graduation ceremony at the Open University in Harare, Zimbabwe Friday. Dressed in a blue academic gown as he announced the opening of the event after the singing of the national anthem.

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from Harare, said Mugabe’s attendance was the army’s way of saying “this is not a coup”.

“The army says the aim of the military intervention was the arrest of criminal elements around Mugabe. It also suggests that if they have anyone in place to take over, it will probably take some time. This will not happen immediately, possibly not before the ruling party’s conference in December,” she said.

“Mugabe is a master tactician, known for his intelligence. He’s been around for this long because he knows how to play the game and he still has support from within the ruling ZANU-PF party. Those who do still support him have much admiration for him – they see him as an African icon.

“When he does go, on whatever terms that is, it will likely be a graceful exit. His supporters would want him to go with dignity and it will be carefully managed.”

However, the army in a statement on Zimbabwe state television Friday, said the military leaders were”engaging with the Commander-in-Chief President Robert Mugabe on the way forward and will advise the nation of the outcome as soon as possible”.

“Significant progress has been made in their operation to weed out criminals around President Mugabe,”

Those sought had been “committing crimes that were causing social and economic suffering in Zimbabwe”.

The Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe did not accompany her husband to the ceremony.

There is speculation that former vice president Mnangagwa might be reinstated to end the political uncertainty in the country.



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