Zimbabwe’s military chief today threatened to deal “severely” with any acts of revenge against members of Robert Mugabe’s regime as the jubilant country waited for the deposed leader’s former deputy to be sworn in as president.
At the end of a wild night of celebration on the streets of Harare, Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga urged “maximum restraint.”
The general, whose forces effectively seized power last week, said: “Acts of vengeful retribution or trying to settle personal scores will be dealt with severely.
“Zimbabweans across the political divide should exercise maximum restraint and observe law and order to the fullest.
Our vaunted character and tradition as a peaceful and law-abiding nation must now show in practical terms through unconditional observance of the law.”
His warning came after a bloodless coup that saw the 93 year old former guerilla leader deposed after 37 years in power since the country of 16 million people won independence from Britain.
Mr Mugabe’s ex-deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa was set to return to Zimbabwe from hiding this evening, two weeks after he fled the country in fear of his safety following his sacking by Mugabe.
He is expected to be sworn in as the new President on Friday.