A coup is reportedly under way in Zimbabwe, with reports on social media claiming that the head of Zimbabwe military Constantino Chiwenga has given President Robert Mugabe 24 hours to vacate office after sacking his vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Earlier on Tuesday, Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF youths said they were “prepared to die” in defence of President Mugabe’s government.
In a statement on Tuesday, Zanu-PF’s secretary of the youth league Kudzai Chipanga said that Zanu-PF youths did not take lightly the military’s threats.
“We as Zanu-PF youth league are a lion which has awakened and found its voice, therefore we will not sit idly and fold our hands whilst cheap potshots and threats are made against Mugabe,” Chipanga said.
Reuters reports that 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 end a purge of supporters of ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The report says that two other tanks were seen parked beside the main road from Harare to Chinhoyi, about 20km from the city.
One of the tanks, which was pointed in the direction of the capital, had come off its tracks. Soldiers, however, refused to talk to journalists, the report says.
Said Chiwenga: “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”
He added: “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.”
Chiwenga on Monday demanded a “stop” to the purges in the ruling Zanu-PF party following the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chiwenga criticised the instability in the revolutionary party.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.