Zimbabwean commander says military will step in to protect revolution

The wife of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe Grace Mugabe

The party's ten provinces, the Women's League and the Youth League have endorsed First Lady Grace Mugabe to be the party's female vice president and to replace Mnangagwa.

Now-sacked vice president Mnangagwa, 75, 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.

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party on Tuesday condemned the "treasonous" statement by Zimbabwe Defense Forces Chief Constantino Chiwenga, who threatened military intervention in the party's factional fights.

President Robert Mugabe's famous "blue house" or "blue roof" has been sealed off by heavily armed military personnel, Khuluma Afrika has confirmed.

The party said his comments were "clearly calculated to disturb national peace..."

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The development comes amid rising tensions between the military and a faction in the ruling Zanu-PF party which appears to have the support of President Mugabe and his influential wife, Grace.

Earlier, BBC correspondents in the capital, Harare, reported that a few armoured vehicles have been seen on a main public road outside the city having left one of the country's main military barracks, Inkomo.

A number of people posted images of the military vehicles on social media.

'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 said in a statement read to reporters at a news conference packed with top brass on Monday.

The ruling party will next month hold an extra ordinary congress to reaffirm Mugabe's candidature in next year's presidential elections and also amend the party constitution to allow for a female vice president.

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"It is very unclear how this will play out and there is a certain amount of wishful thinking from those who would like to see Mugabe arrested or dragged off. but his silence suggests an executive which is not in charge of the situation", he added.

President Robert Mugabe with his wife Grace Mugabe.

"The current purging ... targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith", he said.

"Chiwenga threw down the gauntlet to Mugabe.it would make sense for Chiwenga to organise some military manoeuvres to up the ante".

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