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World Tank convoy seen outside Zimbabwe capital

22:26  14 november  2017
22:26  14 november  2017 Source:   afp.com

Soldiers on Harare streets as ruling party accuses Zimbabwe army chief of treason

  Soldiers on Harare streets as ruling party accuses Zimbabwe army chief of treason <p>Zimbabwe's ruling party accused the head of the armed forces of treason on Tuesday as troops took up positions around the capital in an escalation of a dispute with 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe over political succession.</p>HARARE, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's ruling party accused the head of the armed forces of treason on Tuesday as troops took up positions around the capital in an escalation of a dispute with 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe over political succession.

Several armoured vehicles drove down main roads near the Zimbabwean capital Harare Tuesday, as “I saw a long convoy of military vehicles,” a female fruit seller about 10 kilometres (six miles) from central “We very rarely see tanks on the roads,” Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based

Tank troops in Zimbabwe PHOTO:Twitter. Several tanks were seen moving near the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday, witnesses told AFP, a day after the army warned it could intervene over a purge of ruling party officials.

Zimbabwe's army chief General Constantino Chiwenga warned President Robert Mugabe to © Provided by AFP Zimbabwe's army chief General Constantino Chiwenga warned President Robert Mugabe to "stop" purges of the ruling ZANU-PF party after Mugabe abruptly sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa last week

Several tanks were seen moving near the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on Tuesday, witnesses told AFP, a day after the army warned it could intervene over a purge of ruling party officials.

The sightings came as uncertainty swirls in Harare due to President Robert Mugabe's decision to fire his vice president last week, prompting a warning of possible military intervention from the army chief.

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  The Latest: Zimbabwe army says 'this is not a takeover' <p>Zimbabwe's army has announced that "this is not a military takeover" and that President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe and sound.</p>

Several tanks were seen moving near the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday, witnesses told AFP, a day after the army warned it could intervene over a purge of ruling party officials. The sightings came as uncertainty swirls in Harare due to President Robert Mugabe's decision to fire his vice

Several tanks were seen moving on the outskirts of the Zimbabwean capital Harare, witnesses said, a day after the army A second female by-stander at the shopping centre also told the AFP reporter that she had seen the convoy . Zimbabwe 's army chief General Constantino Chiwenga on Monday

The reason for the military presence was not immediately clear, but the vehicles may have been on routine maneuvers.

The military spokesman was not available to comment.

"I saw a long convoy of military vehicles, including tanks, about an hour ago. I don't know where they were heading," a female fruit seller near Westgate shopping center, about 10 kilometers (six miles) from central Harare, told AFP.

A second female by-stander at the shopping center also told the AFP reporter that she had seen the convoy.

Zimbabwe's army chief General Constantino Chiwenga on Monday warned President Robert Mugabe to "stop" purges of the ruling ZANU-PF party after Mugabe abruptly sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa last week.

Mnangagwa had clashed repeatedly with First Lady Grace Mugabe, 52, who is widely seen as vying to replace her 93-year-old husband when he dies.

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  Zimbabwe crisis: What we know so far What's happening in Zimbabwe, and is it a coup?An army general appeared on television to insist that there had not been a military coup and that the president and his family were "safe and sound".

Several tanks were seen moving near the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday, witnesses told AFP, a day after the A second female by-stander at the shopping centre also told the AFP reporter that she had seen the convoy . Zimbabwe 's army chief General Constantino Chiwenga on Monday

Several tanks were seen moving near the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday, witnesses said, a day after the army warned it could intervene over a purge of ruling party officials. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Tank convoy seen outside Zimbabwe capital .

Both the ruling party's youth wing and the main opposition party have called for civilian rule to be protected, while analysts called the crisis a potential turning point.

'Ominous moment'?

"No one wants to see a coup ... If the army takes over that will be undesirable. It will bring democracy to a halt, and that is not healthy for a nation," the MDC's shadow defense minister, Gift Chimanikire, told AFP ahead of the convoy sightings.

ZANU-PF's Youth League, which strongly supports Grace Mugabe, said in a statement that Chiwenga must not be allowed to choose Zimbabwe's leaders.

Speculation has been rife in Harare that Mugabe could seek to remove Chiwenga, who is seen as an ally of ousted Mnangagwa.

The crisis "marks another landmark ominous moment in the ongoing race to succeed" Mugabe, political analyst Alex Magaisa said in an online article.

"(Mugabe) has previously warned the military to stay away from ZANU-PF's succession race.

"His authority over the military has never been tested in this way. If he does nothing, it might be regarded as a sign of weakness. If he puts his foot down, it could result in open confrontation."

Mnangagwa was widely seen as Mugabe's most loyal lieutenant having worked alongside him for decades and his ousting sent shockwaves through the region.

He fled the country and is thought to be in South Africa but has yet to make a public appearance following his searing five-page condemnation of Grace's ambition and Mugabe's leadership style.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Zimbabwe's ruling party assured Robert Mugabe he would not be prosecuted, party official says .
Zimbabwe's ruling party assured Robert Mugabe he would not be prosecuted, party official says.Ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke tells The Associated Press that party officials assured Mugabe he would not be prosecuted.

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