Tanks seen heading toward Zimbabwe capital as military coup fears grow

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Constantino Chiwenga addressing the media conference at the Zimbabwean Army Headquarters on Nov. 13, 2017
Constantino Chiwenga addressing the media conference at the Zimbabwean Army Headquarters on Nov. 13, 2017

Military tanks were spotted heading towards Harare the capital city of Zimbabwe sparking fears of a military coup a day after head of the armed forces said he was prepared to “step in” to end a purge of supporters of the vice president who was sacked last week.

The tanks were seen heading towards the capital city of Tuesday and several witnesses said they were within 20 km of the city.

They said that the tanks turned and started heading towards the Presidential Guard compound which is located in a suburb called Dzivarasekwa on the outskirts of Harare.

The Zimbabwean government officials could not be reached for comment.

The tanks do not seem to have entered the city limits and business continued as normal.
On Monday, Constantino Chiwenga, openly stated that the army was willing to step in if the instability in the ruling Zanu-PF continues to result in purges of those who fought for the country’s independence.

“We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that, when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in,” Chiwenga told the press on Monday.

The statement by the army chief brought into question its loyalty to the country’s only President 93 year old Robert Mugabe.

The sacked Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa had long been viewed as Mugabe’s likely successor.

Mnangagwa was fired as national elections loom large and the opposition is ganging up as it capitalizes on the public’s anger over cash shortages, crumbling infrastructure and a collapse in government services. The economy has halved in size since 2000.

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