Military outside Harare after army chief's threat

Trevor Jackson
November 15, 2017

Eyewitnesses also said on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time) that army tanks were seen about 20 kilometres west of the capital, Harare.

In a rare statement that highlighted the tensions rising in the impoverished southern African nation, General Constantino Chiwenga, commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces said there was instability in ZANU-PF, which was causing anxiety in Zimbabwe.

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

Gen Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe's army chief, has warned President Robert Mugabe and ruling Zanu-PF party after the sacking of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, The Guardian reports.

Mnangagwa fled into exile, vowing to return and has launched a direct challenge to Mugabe by calling for members of the ruling party to desert the president.

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Historically President Mugabe is generally afraid, and interprets any show of defiance as risk of a possible coup and has in the past tightened his personal security over simple things like social media dissent, or strikes by workers.

The veteran of the country's 1970s liberation war was popular with the military and had been seen as a likely successor to Mugabe.

Four people have been arrested for booing first lady Grace Mugabe at a rally.

Chiwenga said ZANU-PF had since 2015 been rocked by infighting, which had afflicted the economy, causing serious cash shortages and soaring prices of basic commodities - rare criticism of those in government by the military.

In an unprecedented step, Chiwenga then openly threatened to intervene in politics on Monday if the purge of war veterans did not stop.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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