Mugabe in trouble as Zimbabwean army chief threatens to take over

Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The Zimbabwean military has fired warning shots on Monday, giving the ruling Zanu PF an ultimatum to stop the current purges of all party cadres with a military background.

The incident angered Mugabe who spoke at the same rally shortly after his wife, accusing his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa of organising and sponsoring the hecklers.

General Constantino Chiwenga, who appeared at a news conference with another 90 senior army officers, did not refer to anyone by name but is believed to be referring to President Mugabe.

But the 75-year-old former vice president has powerful military connections, having served as defence and state security minister. He has since fled into exile.

"We remain committed to protecting our legacy and those bent on hijacking the revolution will not be allowed to do so", Chiwenga said.

"While our people may 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".

Before his sack, Mnangagwa, aka Crocodile, defiantly told Mugabe that the party was "not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please".

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"Members must go with equal opportunity to exercise their democratic rights", he said.

"Known counter-revolutionaries. must be exposed and fished out", he said.

He also urged some party members to stop denigrating the military as it was causing despondency within the rank and file.

OVER 30 generals from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces packed the fortified KGIV army barracks in Harare as their boss issued a rare rebuke to President Robert Mugabe, leaving the country on the cusp of a coup.

"There is distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation", he continued.

He said the "squabbling" between politicians had led to "no meaningful development in the country for the past five years", the BBC report says.

The crisis had resulted in "cash shortages and rising commodity prices", he said.

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