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Zimbabwean commander says military will step in to protect revolution

Zimbabwean commander says military will step in to protect revolution

Fears of some sort of revolt grew over the last few hours after several army tanks were spotted headed for the capital, and major arteries out of Harare were closed.

"We will not fold out hands to allow a creature of the constitution to subvert the very constitution which establishes it", said Kudzai Chipanga, who leads the Zanu-PF Youth League, said at the party's headquarters in Harare.

Ninety-three year old President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is in trouble.

Mnangagwa was dismissed after clashing with Mugabe's wife, Grace, who is now in prime position to succeed her 93-year-old husband.

It comes a day after the head of the armed forces said he was prepared to "step in" to end a purge of supporters of sacked vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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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.

General Constantino Chiwenga had challenged President Robert Mugabe over his sacking of the vice-president.

Pictures of tanks heading towards the capital circulated on social media Tuesday prompting rumors that a coup could be imminent.

"When it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in", Chiwenga told a press conference on Monday.

"The current purging ... targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith", he said.

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The former junior administrator is detested by numerous independence-era war veterans, who once enjoyed a privileged role in the ruling party under Mugabe, but who have increasingly been banished from senior government and party roles in recent years.

Among the big wigs alleged to be loyal to the former vice president and facing the axe are state security minister Kembo Mohadi, cyber security mister Patrick Chinamasa and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri.

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

"He is in a corner. If he condemns that statement, then he is saying therefore I am for the young turks against the war veterans", said Eldred Masunugure, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.

The cordoning off of ZBC premises was also in line with upped security in the southern African country amid a political impasse, the website said.

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