Mugabe in trouble as Zimbabwean army chief threatens to take over

Mugabe in trouble as Zimbabwean army chief threatens to take over

"The current purging, which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background, must stop forthwith", Chiwenga told a media conference on Monday attended by about 90 senior army officers at military headquarters.

Mnangagwa was sacked from both government and the party last week, and is now holed up in South Africa.

"The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith", General Constantino Chiwenga told a media conference attended by about 90 senior army officers at army headquarters.

First lady Grace Mugabe is known as a leader of a group of party officials known as the Generation 40 or G40 because many of them are in their 40s and 50s and are too young to have participated in Zimbabwe's independence war.

"We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that, when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in", Chiwenga said in a statement read to reporters at the news conference.

Mugabe has also in the past warned military commanders from interfering in ZANU-PF succession politics. Mugabe, 93, was "now virtually unable to walk without assistance, always needing the support of his wife, Grace, and the phalanx of bodyguards he travels with", the report said.

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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.

The U.S. woman charged with subversion in Zimbabwe over allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe on Twitter was freed Friday on $1,000 bail.

Gen. Chiwenga said what is happening in the revolutionary party is a direct result of the machinations of counter-revolutionaries whose agenda is to destroy the party from within. 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.

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

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.

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