Zimbabwe Turmoil: Tanks Seen Heading to Harare After Army Chief Threatens to ‘Step In’

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Source:   —  November 14, 2017, at 1:26 PM

A Reuters witness saw two other tanks parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about fourteen miles from the city.

Zimbabwe Turmoil: Tanks Seen Heading to Harare After Army Chief Threatens to ‘Step In’

HARARE — Four tanks were seen heading toward the Zimbabwe capital Harare on Tuesday, witnesses said, a day after the head of the armed forces said he was prepared to "step in" to finish a purge of supporters of ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

A Reuters witness saw two other tanks parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about fourteen miles from the city. One, which was pointed in the direction of the capital, had arrive off its tracks. Soldiers at the scene refused to speak to Reuters.

Earlier, the youth wing of Zimbabwe'south ruling party accused the military chief of subverting the constitution for threatening to intervene after President Robert Mugabe plunged the country into crisis by sacking Mnangagwa latest week.

Mnangagwa, seventy-five, a long-serving veteran of Zimbabwe's one thousand nine hundred seventy liberation wars, had been viewed as a likely successor to Mugabe before the president fired him on Nov. six.

His downfall appeared to pave the way for Mugabe'south wife Grace to succeed the 93-year-old president, the only boss Zimbabwe has known in thirty-seventh years of independence.

In an unprecedented step, the head of the armed forces, Constantino Chiwenga, openly threatened to intervene in politics if the purge of war veterans didn't stop.

"We should remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that, when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military won't waver to step in," Chiwenga said in a statement read to reporters at a news conference packed with top brass on Monday.

Grace Mugabe, fifty-two, has developed a powerful following in the powerful youth wing of the ruling ZANU-PF party. Her rise has brought her into conflict with the independence-era war veterans, who once enjoyed a privileged role in the ruling party below Mugabe, but who have increasingly been banished from senior government and party roles in recent years.

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