Zimbabwean commander says military will step in

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This file photo taken on Nov. 13, 2017 shows Army General Constantino Chiwenga Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces addressing a media conference held at the Zimbabwean Army Headquarters in Harare. [Photo/VCG] 

Zimbabwe's top military commander on Monday urged the ruling Zanu-PF party to put its house in order, saying the military would step in if the revolution that brought independence was under threat.

While pledging allegiance to President Robert Mugabe as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Constantino Chiwenga told a press conference that some counter-revolutionaries were bent on reversing the gains of the liberation struggle and making Zimbabwe a neo-colonial state.

"May I remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting the revolution the military will not hesitate to step in," he said.

Chiwenga noted that there were current purges within the party targeting people who had a history with the liberation struggle while those who did not participate were gaining ground.

"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 defense forces," he said apparently stung by the recent dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country's vice president.

Mnangagwa was subsequently fired from the party and has since left the country.

The history of the revolution could not be rewritten by people who were not part of it, Chiwenga told the press conference which was also attended by the top brass in the military.

The general added that the conduct of the ruling party could not be seen merely as being an internal matter because it had a direct impact on the welfare of all Zimbabweans.

"As a result of squabbling within the ranks of Zanu-PF, there has been no meaningful development in the country for the past five years. The resultant economic impasse has ushered in more challenges to the Zimbabwean populace such as cash shortages and rising commodity prices," he said.

Among other security threats emanating from the goings-on Zanu-PF were "reckless utterances" by some politicians denigrating the military, which he said were causing despondency among its members, he said.

"Further, we note with concern the attempts by some politicians to drive a wedge between the security services for their own selfish interests. This is unacceptable."

He quoted the constitution to justify the military's interest in what was happening in the ruling party, saying that the military provided government with various forms of assistance as provided for by the supreme law.

Mugabe has in the past ordered the military to stay out of politics arguing that it is politics that leads that gun and not the other way round.

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