Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Four in Zimbabwe court over Grace Mugabe heckles

Four in Zimbabwe court over Grace Mugabe heckles

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga told a press conference Monday afternoon, which was attended by the military generals and elite, that "it is common cause that any instability within the [Zanu PF] party naturally impacts on [Zimbabweans'] social, political and economic lives", adding that accordingly, there was "distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation".

Watch as Chiwenga speaks in a video below.

Mugabe who is Commander-in Chief of ZDF, has already been endorsed as Zanu PF presidential candidate for the 2018 election but with the new turn of events, the veteran leader could be challenged by Mnangagwa at next month's elective congress.

Mnangagwa was dismissed after clashing with Mugabe's wife, Grace, who is now in prime position to succeed her 93-year-old husband.

"What is obtaining in the revolutionary party is a direct result of the machinations of counter-revolutionaries who have infiltrated the party and whose agenda is to destroy it from within..."

"The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu-PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern to us in the defense forces", he said apparently stung by the recent dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country's vice president.

"The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith", Chiwenga said.

This was the first time Zimbabwe's military directly criticised the infighting in Zanu-PF and marked a rift between Mugabe and an institution that has been a key pillar of his power.

Before his sack, Mnangagwa, aka Crocodile, defiantly told Mugabe that the party was "not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please".

Mugabe and ZANU-PF have ruled this once prosperous but now economically troubled southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

The party has said it would also take disciplinary action against scores of party members perceived to be loyal to Mnangagwa.

Mugabe has in the past ordered the military to stay out of politics arguing that it is politics that leads that gun and not the other way round.

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