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Tensions rise in Zimbabwe as military tanks near the capital

15 November 2017

Four army tanks were seen heading toward the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday, witnesses said.

In a rare statement that highlighted the tensions rising in the impoverished southern African nation, General Constantino Chiwenga, commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces said there was instability in ZANU-PF, which was causing anxiety in Zimbabwe.

There has been a crackdown on freedom of expression in the southern African nation in recent months, with a US woman arrested for allegedly calling President Robert Mugabe "a goblin" in a tweet.

Chiwenga's statement is perceived as a direct challenge to Mugabe's decision to dismiss his long time right hand person Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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ZANU PF Youth League leader, Kudzai Chipanga, in a statement said Chiwenga together with Mnangagwa must account for the missing money as they presided over revenue from the country's diamonds.

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

Grace Mugabe's rise has brought her into conflict with the independence-era war veterans, who once enjoyed a privileged role in the ruling party under Mugabe, but who have in recent years been banished from senior government and party roles. President Mugabe, however, is not at the house as we speak, and Khuluma Afrika was able to confirm that his motorcade is still at his Munhumutapa offices in the capital.

Mugabe is yet to respond to Chiwenga's coup threats. "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.

Tensions rise in Zimbabwe as military tanks near the capital