Zimbabwe army signals split with Mugabe over firing of vice-president
Zimbabwe army warns Mugabe against party purge or they will step in
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who is also the leader of the ruling Zanu PF party has been warned by the Zimbabwean army to end the purging of liberation fighters in the party or they will step in.
The threat was issued in a press conference on Monday by the army commander General Constantino Chiwenga who said the infighting in the party is a security threat which is affecting the country.
"Unfortunately since the turn of 2015, Zanu PF’s protocol and procedures have changed with a lot of gossiping, backbiting and public chastisement being the order of the day … We must remind those behind treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolutions, the military will not hesitate to step in."
"The current purging of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith. The known counter-revolutionary elements who have fermented the current instability must be fished out," General Chiwenga said in the presence of over 90 army chiefs.
We must remind those behind treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolutions, the military will not hesitate to step in.
He also called for all members of the party to be allowed to vote during Zanu PF’s extraordinary congress.
"Those bent on hijacking the revolution will not b allowed to do so. It is our strong and deeply considered position that if drastic action is not taken immediately, our beloved country Zimbabwe is definitely headed to becoming a neo-colony again," he added.
The threat by the military follows the sack of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was pivotal during the independence revolution. He was also sacked from the party in which he was a strong contender to succeed Mugabe.
Mnangagwa belongs to a faction in the party which is supported by the security services and war veterans. A rival faction is also backing Grace Mugabe to take over from the president.
Supporters of both factions have been at each other’s throats as Grace Mugabe and Mnangagwa openly engaged in conflicts that resulted in the latter’s sack.
Some members of the Mnangagwa faction have been arrested for allegedly booing at the First Lady during a rally where she openly promised to ensure the sack of the former Vice President.
"As a result of squabbling within the ranks of Zanu PF, there has been no meaningful development in the country in the past five years resulting in economic impasse. Our revolutionary path is reprieved by conduct of rebellion by people who are attempting to destroy the revolution from within."
"While our people might be persuaded to take what is going on in Zanu PF, as internal political matters in that party, the truth remains that Zanu PF’s conduct and behaviour as a ruling party has a direct impact on the lives of every citizen, hence all of us regardless of political affiliation are affected by the party’s manner of doing business," General Constantino Chiwenga warned.