Social media reacts to Zim army chief’s coup threat

Cape Town – Zimbabweans have taken to social media to air their views following threats by the country's army chief to stage a coup if President Robert Mugabe doesn't rein in his warring Zanu-PF lieutenants.

General Chiwenga at a conference held at the Zimbabwean Army Headquarters on Monday. Photograph: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Imageschiwe

Addressing journalists at a press conference in Harare, Defence Forces commander Constantino Chiwenga demanded a “stop” to the purges in the ruling Zanu-PF following the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Chiwenga criticised the instability in the revolutionary party.

The press briefing was attended by at least 90 senior army officers at the army headquarters in Harare.

Chiwenga said that “instability” in the ruling party had caused “distress, trepidation and despondence”.

He accused the party of expelling senior officials who participated in the 1970s war against white-minority ruled Rhodesia, saying “counter revolutionaries” were plotting to destroy the party.

“The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu-PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern for us in the defense forces,” said Chiwenga.

“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. The current purging of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith.”

General Chiwenga’s hard-hitting statement against Zanu P F politicians is very significant. Zimbabwe could be on the cusp of something epoch-defining.

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