Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Possible military coup in Zimbabwe, as tanks roll towards Robert Mugabe's capital

LATEST: Zanu PF fights back, blames Chiwenga for missing $15 Billion diamonds Breaking: Mugabe in trouble: 4 army tanks move towards capital
Howard Terry | 15 November, 2017, 00:22

This photo taken November 8, 2017, shows Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, left, addressing party members and supporters to show support to Grace Mugabe, right, becoming the party's next vice president after the dismissal of Emerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe's ruling party denied anything was amiss on its Twitter account.

Mr Mnangagwa's downfall opens the way for his arch rival, Mr Mugabe's 52-year-old wife Grace, to take power when the ailing president dies, resigns or is ousted.

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party on Tuesday condemned the "treasonous" statement by Zimbabwe Defense Forces Chief Constantino Chiwenga, who threatened military intervention in the party's factional fights.

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.

'Thanks for your concerns, there is NO coup happening in Zimbabwe. Please continue with your lives and face up to your own problems. The long-serving veteran of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war, had been viewed as a likely successor to Mugabe before the president fired him.

"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. "It is a warning that the political class in ZANU-PF is about to cross that red line".

Chiwenga's statement was outrageous and calculated to disturb national peace and stability, party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said in a statement.

Chiwenga's statement, read out at a news conference packed with army top brass, comes at a time of a deepening rift within ZANU-PF over who will eventually lead the party after the 93-year-old Mugabe goes.

For what its worth, no foreign embassies in Zimbabwe have as yet issued any advisories noting unusual troop movements in Harare. "It is very unusual considering that we normally see a few soldiers in uniforms during their pay days". Witnesses say tanks turned before reaching Harare & headed towards the Presidential Guard HQ. The capital remained calm and there was no apparent deployment to the state broadcaster or other strategic locations.

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