Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has threatened to punish those war veterans who last week said they were withdrawing their backing for him.

At a rally of his Zanu-PF party supporters and veterans who remain loyal to him, Mr Mugabe also urged the veterans to choose new leaders.

He blamed the West for splits in the veterans’ association.

The association, one of Mr Mugabe’s key backers, last week accused him of dictatorial tendencies.

In a statement, it also blamed the 92-year-old president for the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in the country.

It was not immediately clear if all of the veterans of the 1970s war against white minority rule agreed with the text.

Pressure on Mr Mugabe is growing, with factions in the governing Zanu-PF openly fighting to succeed him and protests about the failing economy.

But he has said he plans to run for president again in 2018 and rule.

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