A day after the head of Zimbabwe armed forces said he was prepared to “step in” to end a purge of supporters of ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, four tanks according to eyewitnesses have been seen heading towards the capital of Harare.
Two of the tanks according to a Reuters witness who said soldiers at the scene refused to talk, were parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about 20 km (14 miles) from the city, while one, which was pointed in the direction of the capital, had come off its tracks.
General Constantino Chiwenga, commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces had warned on Monday that the military would not hesitate to step in to end purges against former liberation war fighters in President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party.
The army general who made the statement after Emmerson Mnangagwa (his political ally) was stripped of his vice president’s post said the instability in the ruling ZANU-PF was causing anxiety in Zimbabwe.
Chiwenga’s statement, read out at a news conference packed with army top brass, comes at a time of a deepening rift within the party over who will eventually lead the party after the 93-year-old Mugabe steps down.
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