The head of Zimbabwe armed forces General Constantino Chiwenga has made good his promise to “step in” to end a purge of supporters of ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
After an overnight mission, Zimbabwe’s military on Wednesday confirmed that it had seized power in a targeted assault on “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe.
A spokesman for the military in a short broadcast on national television said it expected “normalcy” to return as soon as it had completed its “mission” and also gave assurances that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.
Yesterday evening, four tanks according to eyewitnesses were 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.
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