by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – PANIC has gripped Zimbabwe amid fears of a coup after the Defence Forces (ZDF) warned President Mugabe to stop sacking rivals in the ruling Zanu-PF.
General Constantino Chiwenga, ZDF Commander, warned the military would “intervene” as the race to succeed Mugabe and the subsequent sacking of
deputy president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, threatened to tear the liberation movement apart.
“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 at a press briefing late Monday.
“The current purging of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith,” he said.
His terse statement came more than a week after Mnangagwa, who is said to have the backing of the military, was dismissed for allegedly plotting to overthrow Mugabe.
Tendai Biti, opposition leader and former finance minister said Chiwenga’s sentiment had left the country vulnerable.
“The chaos scenario continues to unfold. State vulnerability and fragility have never been more accentuated. General Chiwenga’s statement is at the very minimal a vote of no confidence on government and at most a coup,” Biti said.
Zimbabwe’s military generals have previously dabbled in party politics.
They are on record declaring they would not allow leaders lacking liberation war credentials to become president of the country.
The military is accused of human rights violations against opposition supporters after Mugabe lost elections against Morgan Tsvangirai.
Analyst Alex Magaisa warned of a serious confrontation between the civilian and military authorities in Zimbabwe.
“This is a recipe for disaster. The human cost of all this cannot be overstated,” he said.
– CAJ News