Tensions rise in Zimbabwe as military in outskirts of capital

Marsha Scott
November 15, 2017

Mugabe has threatened to fire more than 100 officials linked to Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice president he sacked last week and who enjoys the support of the influential War Veterans' Association.

Tensions rose in Harare on Tuesday as armoured vehicles, military police and soldiers from Zimbabwe's powerful military drove through the outskirts of the capital.

He quoted the constitution to justify the military's interest in what was happening in the ruling party, saying that the military provided government with various forms of assistance as provided for by the supreme law.

Some of the army top brass are seen as strongly opposed to Grace Mugabe's apparent emergence as the likely next president.

His downfall appeared to pave the way for Mugabe's wife, Grace, to succeed the 93-year-old president.

"(Mugabe) has previously warned the military to stay away from ZANU-PF's succession race.

General Constantino Chiwenga, left, sent a warning to Mugabe yesterday.

Today, four tanks were seen moving towards Harare, while two other tanks were seen parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, 14 miles from the city, pointing in the direction of the capital.

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Zimbabwe's ruling party described criticism of its conduct by armed forces commander Constantine Chiwenga as "treasonable" and meant to incite insurrection in the southern African nation, deepening the split between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

"The current purging. targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith".

"May I remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting the revolution the military will not hesitate to step in", he said. When Joice Mujuru, a war veteran and Mugabe's deputy of 10 years, was sacked from the ruling party in 2014, the military remained quiet.

Among the big wigs alleged to be loyal to the former vice president and facing the axe are state security minister Kembo Mohadi, cyber security mister Patrick Chinamasa and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri.

Grace, now poised to become a vice president, did not fight in the liberation war.

"He is in a corner".

"What we are witnessing is the military saying: "We are willing to intervene if the red line is crossed".

The Zanu-PF issued a statement Tuesday calling Chiwenga's statement treasonous.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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