The Zimbabwe military is now in charge, says they are targeting criminals around Mugabe but Mugabe and family are safe.
A military intervention in Zimbabwean politics would be fraught with difficulties and in the state media address, the officers denied a coup.
The African Union and the regional 15-nation Southern African Development Community are both on record that they do not recognise any authority which comes to power via a coup d'etat.
A source living close to Mr Mugabe's mansion said: "We presume any coup plotters would know that Zimbabwe would run out of fuel in a week or so, and that South Africa would likely cut off electricity. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country and cannot survive if all borders were closed."