Mugabe's house, ZBC reportedly sealed off by army

The wife of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe Grace Mugabe

The wife of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe Grace Mugabe

Mnangagwa's removal provides a boost for Grace Mugabe, the wife of the president, who is supported by the largely youthful G40 faction of ZANU-PF to succeed her husband.

Zimbabwe's top military general on Monday called for an immediate end to purges against former liberation war fighters in President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, after Emmerson Mnangagwa was stripped of his vice president's post.

While it is still unclear who ordered the military movement, it is an apparent step to put pressure on President Mugabe.

"The said statement by General Constantino Chiwenga which was not signed, and which did not represent the rest of the Command Element, suggests treasonous conduct on his part as this was meant to incite insurrection and violent challenge to the Constitutional Order", Moyo said.

"The current purging, which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background, must stop", said Chiwenga, flanked by senior army personnel.

Tensions rose in Harare on Tuesday as armoured vehicles, military police and soldiers from Zimbabwe's powerful military drove through the outskirts of the capital.

Zimbabwe was plunged into crisis when Mr Mugabe sacked Mr Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old veteran of Zimbabwe's liberation wars, last week. Whilst reports on social media seem to imply that a coup is underway, Khuluma Afrika understands that military presence has been increased there to improve security in the face of growing uncertainty in the country.

Mugabe is yet to respond to Chiwenga's coup threats.

Today, four tanks were seen moving towards Harare, while two other tanks were seen parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, 14 miles from the city, pointing in the direction of the capital.

"As a result of the squabbling, there has been no meaningful development in the country for the past five years".

In response the party's Youth League accused the military chief of subverting the constitution.

President Robert Mugabe with his wife Grace Mugabe.

In an unprecedented step, Chiwenga then openly threatened to intervene in politics on Monday if the purge of war veterans did not stop.

"Chiwenga threw down the gauntlet to would make sense for Chiwenga to organise some military manoeuvres to up the ante".

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