In what could be described as rare show of unity, Zimbabwe’s main political blocs have shown unity against “military intervention” into politics.
The southern African country has been plunged into a state of political tension after the army chief on Monday warned that they could “step in” to halt a purge of loyalists of axed VP Emerson Mnangagwa.
“The current purging of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith. The known counter-revolutionary elements who have fermented the current instability must be fished out,” army chief General Constantino Chiwenga said in the presence of over 90 army chiefs.
The ruling ZANU PF in a tweet on Tuesday said “Thanks for your concerns, there is NO coup happening in Zimbabwe. Please continue with your lives and face up to your own problems.”
A tone more measured than that of the party’s youth league during a press conference on the political ongoings in the southern African country.
“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,” said the secretary of the youth league Kudzai Chipanga.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) also said it will oppose any attempts by any group to stage a coup in the country.
According to the MDC’s shadow minister of Defence, an overthrow would be “undesirable” as it would “bring democracy to a halt.” “No one wants to see a coup,” Gift Chimanikire told the AFP news agency.
The sight of armoured trucks in the capital Harare heightened tension that the military were making good their threats as issued by General Chiwenga.
The Zimbabwe political crisis started when former VP Mnangagwa was sacked by Mugabe and subsequently expelled from the party. The move is seen as part of efforts to get First Lady Grace Mugabe to occupy the position.
Mugabe has been the only president the country has known since independence. He is set to run for a new term in elections due next year. The country is currently suffering from an economic crisis occasioned by shortage of cash.