Tanks seen on road to Zimbabwe capital amid political crisis

Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe's ruling party has accused the country's army chief of "treasonable conduct" after he warned of a possible military intervention in politics.

President Robert Mugabe's famous "blue house" or "blue roof" has been sealed off by heavily armed military personnel, Khuluma Afrika has confirmed.

He quoted the constitution to justify the military's interest in what was happening in the ruling party, saying that the military provided government with various forms of assistance as provided for by the supreme law.

The deployments of military vehicles and soldiers led many to believe a coup was underway against Mr Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known in 37 years of independence.

Chiwenga said ZANU-PF had been hijacked by people who did not fight in the 1970s liberation war, a clear shot at G40 wing and Grace Mugabe who is a vocal critic of Mnangagwa.

Moyo said ZANU-PF will never succumb to the military's threats as they were inconsistent with the tenets of democracy and constitutionalism.

"The current purging, which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background, must stop forthwith", Chiwenga told a media conference on Monday attended by about 90 senior army officers at military headquarters.




In his statement, Chiwenga said the wanton dismissal of party members must be stopped with immediate effect.

Some of the army top brass are seen as strongly opposed to Grace Mugabe's apparent emergence as the likely next president.

"Defending the revolution and our leader and president is an ideal we live for and if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for", he added.

Images posted on Twitter showed tanks and trucks loaded with troops, reportedly traveling along the road toward the capital Harare.

War veterans broke ranks with him in 2016 and have vowed to form a broad front with the opposition to challenge his long rule.

Grace Mugabe - 41 years younger than her husband - has become increasingly active in public life in what many say is a process to help her eventually take the top job.

Reports of extravagant purchases, including property in South Africa and a Rolls-Royce, have also angered many Zimbabweans. When Joice Mujuru, a war veteran and Mugabe's deputy of 10 years, was sacked from the ruling party in 2014, the military remained quiet.

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