Tanks seen heading for Zimbabwe capital, rumor of coup

Tanks seen heading for Zimbabwe capital, rumor of coup

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party on Tuesday condemned the "treasonous" statement by Zimbabwe Defense Forces Chief Constantino Chiwenga, who threatened military intervention in the party's factional fights.

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

Chiwenga's statement, read out at a news conference packed with army top brass, comes at a time of a deepening rift within ZANU-PF over who will eventually lead the party after the 93-year-old Mugabe goes.

Mnangagwa had always been tipped as Mugabe's most likely successor but has in recent months increasingly come into conflict with first lady Grace Mugabe, who is vying to replace the 93-year-old president.

Historically President Mugabe is generally afraid, and interprets any show of defiance as risk of a possible coup and has in the past tightened his personal security over simple things like social media dissent, or strikes by workers.

"We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that, when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in", said General Constantino Chiwenga in a statement.

More news: Children shot an Northern California elementary school

Chiwenga on Monday issued a hard hitting statement urging the ruling party to stop expulsion of party members with a liberation war background.

It is rare for the defence forces to publicly take sides in the affairs of ZANU-PF.

Grace Mugabe's rise has brought her into conflict with the independence-era war veterans, who once enjoyed a privileged role in the ruling party under Mugabe, but who have in recent years been banished from senior government and party roles.

Four people have been arrested for booing first lady Grace Mugabe at a rally.

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

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