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Zimbabwe on edge as head of defendence forces theatens coup

13/11/2017 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Challenging Mugabe ... General Constantino Chiwenga
 
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- 30 top Generals at Chiwenga’s side

THE commander of the Zimbabwe Defence forces has threatened a coup d'etat if President Robert Mugabe does not rein in his warring Zanu PF lieutenants.

In a strongly worded and angry statement delivered while he was flanked by the country’s top military brass, Chiwenga said the army has been “disturbed by the political instability”.

The general recently returned y from a visit to China to find Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had been fired from government and expelled from the ruling party

“But what is significant to us and the generality of Zimbabweans is to remember that all these rebellions were defused by the military, but at no point did the military usurp power.

“We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting or revolution the military will not hesitate to step in,” said Chiwenga.

The warning comes a week after President Robert Mugabe fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the Zanu PF succession struggle boiled over.

The military has been seen to be backing Mnangagwa’s candidature to succeed 93-year-old Mugabe but the Zanu PF leader’s wife has emerged as a top contender, fronting a faction known as G40 into decimating its opposition.

Chiwenga, through a statement issued in a room packed with military generals including army commander Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, administration chief Douglas Nyikayaramba among others, demanded that Mugabe restored order in Zanu PF.

“It is with great humility and a heavy heart that we come before you to pronounce the indisputable reality that there is instability in Zanu PF today and as a result anxiety in the country at large.

“Many of these gallant fighters still live on the spirited hope of seeing a prosperous Zimbabwe but also the hope of leaving behind inheritance and legacy for posterity,” said Chiwenga who blamed the Zanu PF succession struggles for the country’s economic problems.

“As a result of squabbling within the ranks of Zanu PF there has been no meaningful development in the country for the past five years.

“The resultant economic impasse has ushered in more challenges to the Zimbabwean populace such as cash shortages and rising commodity prices.”

He said instability in Zanu PF has had a negative impact on the socio-economic and political lives of Zimbabweans.



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“Clearly, Zanu PF having mainly been the only party that has ruled this country since independence, it has become a household name to most Zimbabweans across the political divide.

“Therefore, it is common cause that, any instability within the party naturally impacts on their social, political and economic lives. Accordingly, there is distress, trepidation and despondency within the nation.

“Our peace-loving people who have stood by their government and endured some of the most trying social and economic conditions ever experienced are extremely disturbed by what is happening in the national revolutionary party.”

He blamed unnamed “counter-revolutionaries” for causing chaos in the party.

“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.

“It is saddening to see the revolution being hijacked by agents of our erstwhile enemies who are now on the brink of returning our country to foreign domination against which so many of our people perished.”

Chiwenga warned that Zimbabwe is close to being “a colony again”, adding Zanu PF has lost its internal decorum under Mugabe.

“Unfortunately, since the turn of 2015 Zanu PF’s traditional protocol and procedures have changed with a lot of gossiping, backbiting and public chastisement being the order of the day. Indeed, the party is undoing its legacy built over the years,” said Chiwenga.

President Mugabe’s wife, Grace, has led public attacks on senior government and Zanu PF officials including Mnangagwa and Chiwenga warned Zimbabwe could descend into anarchy.

“Among other security threats that are coming out of what is obtaining in Zanu PF are the reckless utterances by politicians denigrating the military which are causing despondence within the rank and file,” he said.

“Further we note with concern the attempts by some politicians to drive a wedge between the security serves for their own selfish interests. This is unacceptable. We take great exception to this behaviour,” the CDF said citing examples of war-torn countries such as Somalia, DRC and Central African Republic.

Chiwenga said, while citizens might want to dismiss internal power struggles in the ruling party as events in a private club, “Zanu PF’s conduct and behaviour as a ruling party has a direct impact on the lives of every citizen, hence all of us regardless of political affiliation are affected by the party’s manner of doing business”.

He demanded that the those fomenting divisions in the ruling party must be expelled and added Mugabe must allow an open leadership contest at the ruling party’s extra-ordinary congress next month.

“The known counter-revolutionary elements who have fermented the current instability in the party must be exposed and fished out.

“As the party goes for the extra-ordinary congress, members must go with equal opportunity to exercise their democratic rights,” said Chiwenga.


 
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