Zimbabwe’s powerful but often silent top military leadership has weighed in on the shake ups in the ruling Zanu-PF party that resulted in the expulsion of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, last week.
The Commander of Zimbabwe’s Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga, on Monday warned that “the military will not hesitate to step in,” if the purges against former liberation war fighters continue.
In a written statement that appeared to target the group reportedly led by First Lady Grace Mugabe, Professor Jonathan Moyo and several others who go by the name Generation 40 or G40, that are reportedly behind the expulsions in the party, Chiwenga said “it was saddening to see our revolution being hijacked by agents of our erstwhile enemies who are now at the brink of returning our country to foreign domination against which so many of our people perished.”
Chiwenga attacked the lack of development in the country due to the “squabbling within the ranks of Zanu-PF,” which he said was being spearheaded by people who did not participate in the revolution that brought independence to Zimbabwe.
He noted that any commotion in Zanu PF had a negative impact on Zimbabweans. “… It is common cause that any instability within the party naturally impacts on their social, political and economic lives. Accordingly, there is distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation.
“Our peace loving people who have stood by the government and endured some of the most trying social and economic conditions ever experienced are extremely disturbed by what is happening within the ranks of the national revolutionary party.”
He said the people, who were fanning factionalism in the party, were counter-revolutionaries “whose agenda is to destroy it from within.
“It is saddening to see our revolution being hijacked by agents of our erstwhile enemies who are not at the brink of returning our country to foreign domination against which so many of our people perished.”
General Chiwenga said there is need to take action in order to stop friction within the ruling party.
“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.”
He further claimed that the situation my degenerate in Zimbabwe if it is contained by the army. “…From a security point of view we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Central Africa Republic and many others in our region” where there have been serious conflicts.
General Chiwenga strongly urged some members of the party to stop what he called were reckless statements “denigrating the military which is causing alarm and despondency within the rank and file.”
He stated that Zanu PF should also stop the current purging “of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background.”
War veterans have claimed that they are being removed from all critical structures of the party by G40 members.