Tensions rise in Zimbabwe as military in outskirts of capital

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Why is Zimbabwe in such a bad way

Numerous tanks and military vehicles were seen traveling or parked on the road to Zimbabwe's capital Tuesday amid a political crisis involving strongman President Robert Mugabe.

Before being ousted, Mnangagwa had clashed repeatedly with Mugabe's wife Grace, 52, who is widely seen as vying with Mnangagwa to be the next president when Mugabe dies.

Gen Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe's army chief, has warned President Robert Mugabe and ruling Zanu-PF party after the sacking of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, The Guardian reports.

It is still unclear who ordered the military movement, though it comes amid an unprecedented challenge to the 93-year-old president from the armed forces.

It said it stood by the "primacy of politics over the gun" and accused General Chiwenga of "treasonable conduct ... meant to incite insurrection".

On Monday, the commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces said he was prepared to "step in" to end a purge of supporters of a vice president sacked last week.

Moyo's released the statement after a day when armored military vehicles were seen around the capital, Harare.

"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", said General Constantino Chiwenga in a statement.

Historically President Mugabe is generally afraid, and interprets any show of defiance as risk of a possible coup and has in the past tightened his personal security over simple things like social media dissent, or strikes by workers.

"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.

Mnangagwa was subsequently fired from the party and has since left the country.

Chiwenga also vowed military intervention to stop "counter revolutionaries" who had hijacked ZANU-PF and seeking to destroy it from within.

"As a result of squabbling within the ranks of Zanu-PF, there has been no meaningful development in the country for the past five years".

Chiwenga said if this happens, the military will interject and stop the process.

Grace, now poised to become a vice president, did not fight in the liberation war.

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