4 arrested in Zimbabwe, accused of booing Mugabe's wife

4 arrested in Zimbabwe, accused of booing Mugabe's wife

Zimbabwe armed forces commander Constantine Chiwenga called for an end to purges in President Robert Mugabe's ruling party and said the security services would stop those "bent on hijacking the revolution".

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who joined the struggle for Zimbabwe's liberation struggle at a young age, was sacked by Mugabe on November 6 for showing "traits of disloyalty".

"We strongly urge the party to stop reckless utterances by politicians from the ruling party denigrating the military which is causing alarm and despondence within the rank and file", Chiwenga said.

Gen. Chiwenga said what is happening in the revolutionary party is a direct result of the machinations of counter-revolutionaries whose agenda is to destroy the party from within.

"The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith", General Constantino Chiwenga told a media conference attended by about 90 senior army officers at army headquarters. "The current purging of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith".

The party has said it would also take disciplinary action against scores of party members perceived to be loyal to Mnangagwa.

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The expulsion of Mnanggwe, a former minister of defence and state security, had removed a potential successor to Mugabe, the 93-year-old president and leader of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

General Constantino Chiwenga, who appeared at a news conference with another 90 senior army officers, did not refer to anyone by name but is believed to be referring to President Mugabe.

The speech came a day after Mugabe publicly criticised Mnangagwa for the first time during a speech at a rally on November 4.

Mugabe and ZANU-PF have ruled this once prosperous but now economically troubled southern African country since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

In 2008, after the first round of elections in which the Movement for Democratic Change, an opposition party led by Morgan Tsvangirai, won at the polls, the military warned that it would not allow leaders without liberation-war credentials to take power, and 200 people died in a state-sponsored crackdown on the opposition.

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