Zim­babwe on alert as mil­i­tary moves in

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

ZIM­BABWE is on edge af­ter a mil­i­tary con­voy was seen out­side the cap­i­tal a day af­ter the army com­man­der threat­ened to “step in” to calm po­lit­i­cal ten­sions over the pres­i­dent’s fir­ing of his deputy.

Re­porters saw three ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers with sev­eral sol­diers in a con­voy on a road head­ing to­ward an army bar­racks just out­side Harare.

While it is rou­tine for ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers to move along the route, the tim­ing height­ened un­ease that there is an open rift be­tween the mil­i­tary and 93-year-old Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe. The mil­i­tary has been a key pil­lar of Mr Mu­gabe’s power since in­de­pen­dence from white mi­nor­ity rule in 1980.

Mr Mu­gabe last week fired vice pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa and ac­cused him of plot­ting to take power, in­clud­ing through witch­craft. Mr Mnan­gagwa, who en­joyed the back­ing of the mil­i­tary and was once seen as a po­ten­tial suc­ces­sor to Mu­gabe, fled the coun­try and said he and his fam­ily had been threat­ened. More than 100 se­nior of­fi­cials al­legedly supporting him have been listed for dis­ci­plinary mea­sures by a fac­tion as­so­ci­ated with Mr Mu­gabe’s wife, Grace. PRES­I­DENT Em­manuel Macron has said the French state fu­elled home­grown ex­trem­ism by aban­don­ing its poor­est ar­eas as he promised tough mea­sures to com­bat the prob­lem af­ter a visit to Paris sub­urbs.

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