Tanks head to Harare. 14/11/2017. SOURCE: ANA

Africa In The News

Tanks in Harare after army chief warns against party purge

 HARARE, November 15 – Army tanks and armoured trucks headed towards Harare on Tuesday — a day after Zimbabwe’s military chief criticised President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, triggering fears that a possible military coup was underway.
But it remained unclear who had despatched the military to Zimbabwe’s capital city: Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga or Mugabe himself, in a show of force in the face of the commander’s stern rebuke, which was made in the presence of military top brass on Monday.
Chiwenda — a supporter of recently sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and a veteran of the country’s liberation struggle against white dominance — warned factions in the ruling Zanu PF to stop purging party members with a military background.
Chiwenga, who said Zimbabwe was suffering “distress, trepidation and despondence”, warned that Zanu PF had been infiltrated by counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy it and that “drastic action” needed to be taken immediately. His comments were widely interpreted as a thinly veiled coup threat and he has yet to make a fresh statement.
Chiwenga spoke after the “G40” faction in Zanu PF, which supports Mugabe’s wife Grace, promised to purge all allies believed to be supporting the Lacoste faction, which is said to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa.
Mugabe, 93, has not yet made any official comment on the matter.
Menawhile, Zanu-PF youth league chairperson Kudzanayi Chipanga dared the country’s military, saying his league was ready to die “defending” Mugabe. Chipanga told journalists that the youth were “a lion which has awakened and found its voice”, and would not “sit idly and fold our hands while cheap potshots and threats” were being made against Mugabe.
RUMOURS ABOUND
Substantiated facts are hard to come by with rumours swirling on social media of Mugabe’s house and the state television headquarters being surrounded by soldiers, as well as talk that Mugabe has sacked Chiwenga.
This confusion has compounded the feeling of unease that most Zimbabweans are now feeling as they watch the political rift in their ruling party widen.
Zimbabwe – whose economy has halved in size since 2000 amid cash shortages and collapsing infrastructure and services – is witnessing increased polarisation within ZANU-PF over who will lead the party when Mugabe goes. 
Mnangagwa’s sacking – he fled to South Africa after receiving death threats – boosts Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe, who is supported by the G40 faction of ZANU-PF. The faction is predominantly young and is criticised by Chiwenga for not fighting in the 1970s liberation war. Grace Mugabe did not fight in the liberation war.

 

 

 

Army tanks headed towards Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, on Tuesday, eyewitnesses said, heightening fears of a possible military coup in the country that has been ruled by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF for nearly four decades.
Just a day after the country’s military chief warned the factions in the ruling Zanu PF to stop purging party members with a military background after last week’s sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, tanks and other military vehicles were seen late Tuesday heading towards Harare.
There has been a media blackout in Zimbabwe since the Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga, a political ally of Mnangagwa, told a news conference on Monday afternoon that Zimbabwe was suffering “distress, trepidation and despondence”. Chiwenga said that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF had been infiltrated by counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy it and that “drastic action” needed to be taken immediately. “The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern to us in the Defence Forces,” he said.
The only response to the general’s statement was made by Zanu PF youth leader Kudzai Chipanga, who said he disagreed with most of what the general had said. President Robert Mugabe, 93, has not yet made any official comment on the matter.
It could not be established why the military was moving its tanks towards the capital, but the situation remained tense.
Zimabawean social media user MuRozvi Mukuru‏ tweeted: “… I am shivering right now at the mere thought of military rule in my beloved Zimbabwe. Our African history is littered with misrule at the hands of the army.”
“From a security point of view, we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region, where minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that has decimated the social, political and economic security of ordinary people,” Chiwenga told the press briefing, which was attended by military generals. He also said that Section 22 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandated the country’s defence forces to protect Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe – whose economy has halved in size since 2000 amid cash shortages and collapsing infrastructure and services – is witnessing increased polarisation within ZANU-PF over who will lead the party when 93-year-old Mugabe goes.
International, regional and local news headlines on Tuesday speculated about an imminent military coup in the country. “Zimbabwe army chief warns military could ‘step in’ over party purge”, reported UK’s The Guardian, and “Zimbabwe’s generals tell Mugabe to stop purge or face coup”, wrote The Times.
Mnangagwa’s sacking – he fled to South Africa after receiving death threats – boosts Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe, who is supported by the G40 faction of ZANU-PF. The faction is predominantly young and is criticised by Chiwenga for not fighting in the 1970s liberation war. Grace Mugabe did not fight in the liberation war.
Chiwenga’s comments come after the G40 faction promised to purge all allies believed to be supporting the Lacoste faction, which is said to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa.

 

 

Army tanks headed towards Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, on Tuesday, eyewitnesses said, heightening fears of a possible military coup in the country that has been ruled by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF for nearly four decades.

Just a day after the country’s military chief warned the factions in the ruling Zanu PF to stop purging party members with a military background after last week’s sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, tanks and other military vehicles were seen late Tuesday heading towards Harare.
There has been a media blackout in Zimbabwe since the Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga, a political ally of Mnangagwa, told a news conference on Monday afternoon that Zimbabwe was suffering “distress, trepidation and despondence”. Chiwenga said that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF had been infiltrated by counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy it and that “drastic action” needed to be taken immediately. “The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern to us in the Defence Forces,” he said.
The only response to the general’s statement was made by Zanu PF youth leader Kudzai Chipanga, who said he disagreed with most of what the general had said. President Robert Mugabe, 93, has not yet made any official comment on the matter.
It could not be established why the military was moving its tanks towards the capital, but the situation remained tense.
Zimabawean social media user MuRozvi Mukuru‏ tweeted: “… I am shivering right now at the mere thought of military rule in my beloved Zimbabwe. Our African history is littered with misrule at the hands of the army.”
“From a security point of view, we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region, where minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that has decimated the social, political and economic security of ordinary people,” Chiwenga told the press briefing, which was attended by military generals. He also said that Section 22 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandated the country’s defence forces to protect Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe – whose economy has halved in size since 2000 amid cash shortages and collapsing infrastructure and services – is witnessing increased polarisation within ZANU-PF over who will lead the party when 93-year-old Mugabe goes.
International, regional and local news headlines on Tuesday speculated about an imminent military coup in the country. “Zimbabwe army chief warns military could ‘step in’ over party purge”, reported UK’s The Guardian, and “Zimbabwe’s generals tell Mugabe to stop purge or face coup”, wrote The Times.
Mnangagwa’s sacking – he fled to South Africa after receiving death threats – boosts Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe, who is supported by the G40 faction of ZANU-PF. The faction is predominantly young and is criticised by Chiwenga for not fighting in the 1970s liberation war. Grace Mugabe did not fight in the liberation war.
Chiwenga’s comments come after the G40 faction promised to purge all allies believed to be supporting the Lacoste faction, which is said to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa.

 

Zimbabwe awoke anxiously on Tuesday after the country’s military chief warned the factions in the ruling Zanu PF to stop purging party members with a military background after last week’s sacking of the vice-president and media started speculating that a coup was on the cards.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga, a political ally of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, told a news conference on Monday afternoon that Zimbabwe was suffering “distress, trepidation and despondence”. The gathering was attended by the military generals.
Chiwenga said that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF had been infiltrated by counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy it and that “drastic action” needed to be taken immediately. “The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern to us in the Defence Forces,” he said.
“From a security point of view, we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region, where minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that has decimated the social, political and economic security of ordinary people,” Chiwenga said, adding that Section 22 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandated the country’s defence forces to protect Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe — whose economy has halved in size since 2000 amid cash shortages and collapsing infrastructure and services — is witnessing increased polarisation within ZANU-PF over who will lead the party when 93-year-old Mugabe goes. International, regional and local news headlines on Tuesday speculated about an imminent military coup in the country. “Zimbabwe army chief warns military could ‘step in’ over party purge”, reported UK’s The Guardian, and “Zimbabwe’s generals tell Mugabe to stop purge or face coup”, wrote The Times.
Mnangagwa’s sacking – he fled to South Africa after receiving death threats – boosts Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe, who is supported by the G40 faction of ZANU-PF. The faction is predominantly young and is criticised by Chiwenga for not fighting in the 1970s liberation war. Grace Mugabe did not fight in the liberation war.
Chiwenga’s comments come after the G40 faction promised to purge all allies believed to be supporting the Lacoste faction, which is said to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa.

 

 

Zimbabwe awoke warily on Tuesday after the country’s military chief warned the ruling Zanu PF to stop purging party members with a military background after sacking Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga told a press conference Monday afternoon, which was attended by the military generals, that Zimbabwe was suffering “distress, trepidation and despondence”.
“What is obtaining in the revolutionary party is a direct result of the machinations of counter-revolutionaries who have infiltrated the party and whose agenda is to destroy it from within… It is our strong and deeply considered position that if drastic action is not taken immediately, our beloved country Zimbabwe is definitely headed to becoming a neo-colony again. The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern to us in the Defence Forces,” he 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. From a security point of view, we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region, where minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that has decimated the social, political and economic security of ordinary people.”
Chiwenga’s comments come after the G40 faction, reportedly supporting President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace, has promised to purge all allies believed to be supporting the Lacoste faction, which is said to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa was sacked from both government and the party last week, and is currently in South Africa.
Chiwenga added that Section 22 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandated the country’s defence forces to protect Zimbabwe.

 

ANA

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