Tanks seen heading for Zimbabwe capital, rumor of coup

Grace Mugabe

Mnangagwa had always been tipped as Mugabe's most likely successor but has in recent months increasingly come into conflict with first lady Grace Mugabe, who is vying to replace the 93-year-old president.

General Constantino Chiwenga, left, sent a warning to Mugabe yesterday.

As Mr Mugabe has systematically dismissed veterans of the liberation struggle from party posts, the top echelons of Zanu-PF are now stacked with officials who did not fight in the independence war.

Both Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's famous "blue house" and the Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been sealed off by heavily armed military personnel, Khuluma Afrika is reporting.

It said it stood by the "primacy of politics over the gun" and accused General Chiwenga of "treasonable conduct ... meant to incite insurrection".

The Zanu-PF party is "not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please", he said, according to The Guardian newspaper.

Several tanks have been seen heading towards the capital of Zimbabwe, less than a day after the head of the military said he could "step in" to end President Mugabe's "purge" of opponents. Whilst reports on social media seem to imply that a coup is underway, Khuluma Afrika understands that military presence has been increased there to improve security in the face of growing uncertainty in the country.


Speculation has been rife in Harare that Mugabe could seek to remove Chiwenga, who is seen as an ally of ousted Mnangagwa.

Mugabe, 93, one of the longest ruling leaders in the world, came to power in 1980 during the country's war of liberation against white-run former British colony Rhodesia.

The ruling party will next month hold an extra ordinary congress to reaffirm Mugabe's candidature in next year's presidential elections and also amend the party constitution to allow for a female vice president.

Mnangagwa took over as vice president from Joice Mujuru who was axed in 2014 after Grace Mugabe launched a campaign accusing her of plotting to topple the president.

Addressing a press conference in the capital, Chiwenga, a perceived Mnangagwa loyalist, said the purges must stop.

Chiwenga on Monday issued a hard hitting statement urging the ruling party to stop expulsion of party members with a liberation war background.

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