Robert Mugabe (Source: Getty)

Unconfirmed reports this morning claim that President Robert Mugabe who has ruled  Zimbabwe for 36 years has been placed under house arrest by soldiers in what looks like a military coup .

Also under house  arrrest, according to the reports, are members of his family while the country’s Minister of Finance has been arrested.

However, Major General Sibusiso Moyo of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, in a late night television address to the nation assured Zimbabweans that Mugabe was safe. His words:

“We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency, the President and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes. As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. This is not a military take-over of government.”

Even so, another report claimed that there was prolonged sound of gunfire around Mugabe’s private residence in Harare, the capital.