The rising political tension comes at a time when Zimbabwe is struggling to pay for imports due to a dollar crunch, which has also caused acute cash shortages.
While Mr Mugabe’s rule has been anchored by support from the military, the ageing leader does not tolerate public challenges.
Eyewitnesses said military vehicles were also blocking major roads outside the city, with the ruling ZANU-PF party, led by Mr Mugabe, accusing the head of the army, General Constantino Chiwenga, of “treasonable conduct”.“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 Chiwenga in a statement. targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith.” The commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, and political ally of Mr Mnangagwa, added that the ZANU-PF had been hijacked by people who did not fight in the 1970s conflict, which some commentators read as a criticism of Ms Mugabe: a vocal critic of the former Vice President.In response to the General’s words, ZANU-PF issued a statement accusing the commander of “treasonable conduct”, saying his comments were “clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability” and were “meant to incite insurrection”.He called for calm and restraint, and expressed the hope that developments in Zimbabwe don't lead to unconstitutional changes of government, which would be contrary to the conditions of both the SADC and African Union."They are now in charge of all armoury, all gates and roads leading in or out of the camp.