Zimbabwe ruling party condemns "treasonous" military chief statement

Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Fears of some sort of revolt grew over the last few hours after several army tanks were spotted headed for the capital, and major arteries out of Harare were closed.

"The said statement by General Constantino Chiwenga which was not signed, and which did not represent the rest of the Command Element, suggests treasonous conduct on his part as this was meant to incite insurrection and violent challenge to the Constitutional Order", Moyo said.

Some analysts say it is too early to talk of a coup attempt against Mugabe - the only leader Zimbabwe has known in 37 years of independence.

This comes a day after a statement by army generals urged President Robert Mugabe to cease purges within his ruling party or "the military would be forced to intervene".

In his statement Monday the army commander Constantine Chiwenga, gave Mugabe an ultimatum calling for a "stop to reckless utterances by politicians from the ruling party".

Chiwenga said ZANU-PF had been hijacked by people who did not fight in the 1970s liberation war, a clear shot at G40 wing and Grace Mugabe who is a vocal critic of Mnangagwa.

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

President Robert Mugabe with his wife Grace Mugabe.

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.

Mugabe is yet to respond to Chiwenga's coup threats. "It is a warning that the political class in ZANU-PF is about to cross that red line".

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