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14 November 2017, 07:54 | Erica Roy
Grace Mugabe talks to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a gathering of the ZANU-PF Politburo in 2016
Credit PHILIMON BULAWAYO Reuters
In a chilling warning to Mugabe and his lieutenants in the ruling Zanu PF party, Chiwenga warned the military could be forced to step-in and restore order.
Zimbabwe's army commander Monday criticized the instability in the country's ruling party caused by President Robert Mugabe who last week fired a vice president.
Among the big wigs alleged to be loyal to the former vice president and facing the axe are state security minister Kembo Mohadi, cyber security mister Patrick Chinamasa and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri.
Before his sack, Mnangagwa, aka Crocodile, defiantly told Mugabe that the party was "not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please".
The day before Mnanggwe's removal, Grace Mugabe called the vice president a "coup plotter" and a "coward" in a speech that shook ZANU-PF.
For her part, Mrs. Mugabe has dared the army to shoot her, calling for the military to stay out of politics.
Mnangagwa who had been touted as an obvious successor to Mugabe, fled into exile this week.
Zimbabwe goes to elections next year to vote for a president and lawmakers.
"Members must go with equal opportunity to exercise their democratic rights", he said.
He said the ZANU-PF had been undermined by "gossiping, backbiting and public chastisement" since 2015, and added, "Indeed, the party is undoing its legacy built over the years".
"Known counter-revolutionaries... must be exposed and fished out", he said.
He vowed to fire Mnangagwa, which he did two days later, in a dramatic move that appeared to open the way for his wife Grace to succeed him in office.
Chiwenga called on the ruling party officials to "stop reckless utterance... denigrating the military, which is causing alarm and despondency within the rank and file".
General Chiwenga also hit out at the "squabbling" between politicians, saying it had led to "no meaningful development in the country for the past five years". "The resultant economic impasse has ushered in more challenges to the Zimbabwean populace such as cash shortages and rising commodity prices", he said.
"There is distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation", he continued.
Zimbabwe in 2009 abandoned its own currency in favour of the U.S. dollar due to hyperinflation.
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