Zimbabwean army threatens coup-d’état against Mugabe

The Zimbabwean army has warned veteran President Robert Mugabe to end the purging of liberation fighters in the party or they will step in.

The threat was voiced at a news conference on Monday by the army commander General Constantino Chiwenga.

The move comes two weeks after President Robert Mugabe has sacked his Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the government. The former ally of the 93-year old leader has also been expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF.

General Chiwenga, who was speaking in the presence of over 90 army chiefs, said the current purge, clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background, must stop forthwith.

He said the known counter-revolutionary elements that have fermented the current instability must be fished out.

The former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been seen as a favorite to succeed the nonagenarian in power since 1980.

However, his relationship with Mugabe’s wife, Grace, has become increasingly strained as their two factions within Zanu-PF fight for dominance.

Mnangagwa, who fought alongside Mugabe in a guerrilla war and went on to become a feared security chief, said he had been “vilified beyond measure”.

Mnangagwa belongs to a faction in the party, which is supported by the security services and war veterans.