Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace attend a meeting of his ruling ZANU PF party's youth league in Harare, Zimbabwe, October 7, 2017.
HARARE – The Zimbabwean military has fired warning shots, giving the ruling Zanu PF an ultimatum to stop the current purges of all party cadres with a military background.
This comes after the G40 faction, reportedly rooting for First Lady Grace Mugabe, has promised to purge all allies believed to be supporting the Lacoste faction, which is said to be sympathetic to sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa was sacked from both government and the party last week and is currently holed up in South Africa.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Constantino Chiwenga told a press conference on Monday, which was attended by the military generals that “it is common cause that any instability within the [Zanu PF] party naturally impacts on [Zimbabweans’] social, political and economic lives”, adding that accordingly, there was “distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation.”
“What is obtaining in the revolutionary party is a direct result of the machinations of counter-revolutionaries who have infiltrated the party and whose agenda is to destroy it from within… It is our strong and deeply considered position that if drastic action is not taken immediately, our beloved country Zimbabwe is definitely headed to becoming a neo-colony again," Chiwenga said.
"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 to us in the Defence Forces,” he added.
Chiwenga said minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that can decimate the social, political and economic security of ordinary people.
"From a security point of view, we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, [the Democratic Republic of Congo] DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region."
He added that Section 22 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandated the country’s defence forces to protect Zimbabwe.