Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe allies hit out at Zimbabwe army chief _98727210_fae104cf-1652-4a24-9a19-ba9cfa1c9715

Allies of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe have warned the military chief against meddling in politics, BBC report.

Gen Constantino Chiwenga had said the army was prepared to intervene to end purges within the ruling Zanu-PF party.

His comments came a week after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has fled into exile.

But the Zanu-PF’s Youth League, which backs President Mugabe’s wife Grace to replace Mr Mnangagwa, told the army chief to “stay in the barracks”.

Meanwhile, BBC correspondents in the capital, Harare, report 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.

It is not clear where they were heading but they have not been seen on the streets of Harare. One of the vehicles had broken down on the side of the road.

The leader of the Zanu-PF youth wing, Kudzai Chipanga, said his members would not allow the armed forces to subvert the constitution and were prepared to die to defend President Mugabe.

He told a press conference in the capital, Harare, that the military chief did not enjoy the support of the “entire defence force”.

“We will not sit and fold hands while threats are made against a legitimately elected government,” he said.

Gen Chiwenga appeared at a news conference on Monday with another 90 senior army officers present.

He had said the “current purging” that targeted “members of the party with a liberation background” should stop.