Military vehicles outside Zimbabwe capital as treason claims fly

Posted November 15, 2017

Zimbabwe's ruling party has accused the head of the armed forces of treason as military tanks drove through the outskirts of the capital of Harare.

Mr Mugabe last week sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, amid a row over the 93-year-old president's successor.

General Constantino Chiwenga had challenged President Robert Mugabe over his sacking of the vice-president.

Zimbabwe's ruling party described criticism of its conduct by armed forces commander Constantine Chiwenga as "treasonable" and meant to incite insurrection in the southern African nation, deepening the split between the military and 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Chiwenga, a political ally of Mnangagwa, added that the Zanu-PF had been hijacked by people who did not fight in the 1970s liberation war, which some commentators read as a criticism of Ms Mugabe, a vocal critic of the former vice president.

On Tuesday, several armoured vehicles spotted outside Harare alarmed many residents as Chiwenga had warned of possible military intervention. Whilst reports on social media seem to imply that a coup is underway, Khuluma Afrika understands that military presence has been increased there to improve security in the face of growing uncertainty in the country.

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Neither the president nor his wife has responded to the general's remarks but a strong denunciation from the ruling party youth wing on Tuesday signalled that Grace Mugabe's supporters were prepared to defend her.

Today, four tanks were seen moving towards Harare, while two other tanks were seen parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, 14 miles from the city, pointing in the direction of the capital.

"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".

He fled the country and is thought to be in South Africa after issuing a searing five-page condemnation of Grace's ambition and Mugabe's leadership.

Mnangagwa took over as vice president from Joice Mujuru who was axed in 2014 after Grace Mugabe launched a campaign accusing her of plotting to topple the president.

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