Zimbabwe army chief criticizes infighting in ruling party

14 November, 2017, 04:17 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Grace Mugabe talks to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a gathering of the ZANU-PF Politburo in 2016
Credit PHILIMON BULAWAYO  Reuters

"It is with humility and a heavy heart that we come before you to pronounce the indisputable reality that there is instability in Zanu-PF today and as a result anxiety in the country at large", Chiwenga, 61, told reporters at the King George IV military barracks in the capital, Harare.

Zimbabwe's army chief has called for an immediate end to purges within President Robert Mugabe's ruling party following the dismisal last week of the country's vice president.

"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 said.

The former vice president was also expelled from Zanu PF, a party he served for more then 40 years, a lot of them at Mr Mugabe's side.

But the 75-year-old former vice-president has powerful military connections, having served as defence and state security minister.

Mavhaire said Mugabe foresaw the need to handover power to a trusted person and he knew his sons were too young to be involved in the Zanu PF succession matrix. 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.

For her part, Mrs. Mugabe has dared the army to shoot her, calling for the military to stay out of politics.

The choice of KGIV was also poignant for an unprecedented statement that can only be rivalled by late General Vitalis Zvinavashe's infamous "straight jacket' statement issued on the eve of the 2002 presidential election and credited with tipping the scales in Mugabe's favour against a popular opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai".

Chiwenga urged unfettered participation at the party's December special congress to choose new leaders.

Chiwenga charged the ruling ZANU-PF party had been infiltrated by people who were seeking to destroy it from within.

Chiwenga, in belligerent style demanded that "counter revolutionaries" - a euphemism for Moyo and his G40 acolytes - be expelled from Zanu PF.

The army boss said the infighting in the party had impacted the country, which is reeling under an economic crisis.

The crisis, he concluded, meant Zimbabwe was struggling with "cash shortages and rising commodity prices".

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