Zimbabwe looks to be on the brink of a possible Coup D’état after its army chief warned the heads of government to stop “purging” the country’s ruling Zanu-PF party.
The rare intervention by General Constantino Chiwenga which came on Monday comes a week after President Robert Mugabe sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Reports now coming out of Harare say that tanks have been seen entering the capital city.
According to Reuters, its witness reports that tanks have been parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about 20 km (14 miles) from the city.
Speaking at the army’s headquarters, General Chiwenga said the removal of people who were involved in the independence struggle, like Mr. Mnangagwa, would not be tolerated.
“The current purging, which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background, must stop forthwith,” he told those gathered for the news conference.
“We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.”
Mnangagwa was a long-serving veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars and had been viewed as a likely successor to Mugabe before the president fired him on November 6.
His downfall was rumored to have been orchestrated by Mugabe’s wife Grace who is now in line to succeed from her 93-year-old husband, the only leader Zimbabwe has known in 37 years of independence.
She has also developed a strong following in the powerful youth wing of the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Her rise has brought her into conflict with the independence-era war veterans, who once enjoyed a privileged role in the ruling party under Mugabe.
They have, however, been increasingly banished from senior government and party roles in recent years.
The Zanu-PF youth wing has also come to the government’s defense, accusing the military chief of subverting the constitution for threatening to intervene.