Zimbabwe’s ruling party youth has accused the military chief of subverting the constitution for threatening to intervene after President Robert Mugabe plunged the country into political crisis by sacking his vice president last week.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-serving veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars, had been viewed as a likely successor to Mugabe before the president fired him on November 6.
“The current purging … targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith,” he said.
The military has supported Mugabe throw the 37 years he has been in power. The force has always said it will not support anyone for president who did not fight in the liberation war.
Mugabe was chairing a weekly cabinet meeting in the capital on Tuesday. Neither the president nor his wife responded immediately to the general’s remarks, but a strong denunciation from the ruling party youth wing on Tuesday signaled that Grace Mugabe’s supporters were prepared to defend her, Reuters reports.
“We will not fold our hands to allow a creature of the constitution to subvert the very constitution which establishes it,” Kudzai Chipanga, who leads the ZANU-PF Youth League, said at the party’s headquarters in Harare.