Zimbabwe Army Commander Calls for End to Ruling Party Purges
Chiwenga, speaking alongside the commanders of the army and airforce, was commenting on the upheaval in the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front following Mugabe’s dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice president a week ago and his subsequent expulsion from the ruling party.
“It is with humility and a heavy heart that we come before you to pronounce the indisputable reality that there is instability in Zanu-PF today and as a result anxiety in the country at large,” he said.
Mnangagwa’s dismissal marked a dramatic shift in politics in Zimbabwe, where he had been a pillar of a military and security apparatus that helped Mugabe emerge as the nation’s leader after independence from the U.K. in 1980. He was Zimbabwe’s first national security minister.
Mugabe, 93, has broken with most of his comrades who fought in the liberation war against the white-minority regime of Rhodesia, leaving the so-called Generation 40 faction of younger members of the ruling party championed by his wife, Grace Mugabe, in the ascendancy.
“The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with liberation backgrounds must stop forthwith,” Chiwenga said.