ZANU PF youths have threatened war on the army, a day after Commander of the Defence Forces chief, General Constantine Chiwenga, demanded that President Robert Mugabe halts the mayhem in the ruling party.
On Monday, General Chiwenga demanded an end "forthwith" to ongoing purges of Zanu PF officials thought to be opposed to President Mugabe and his wife Grace.
He spoke after Emmerson Mnangagwa escaped into exile after he was fired by Mugabe as State and party vice president.
However, the Zanu PF youth league - which backs Grace Mugabe and her ruling party allies - hit back at Chiwenga, declaring that they were ready to die in defence the 93-year-old party leader.
Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga said they would defend President Mugabe at all costs.
"We will not fold our hands and allow a creature of the constitution subvert the very constitution which establishes it," Chipanga told a press conference in the capital Tuesday morning.
"Section 211(3) of the constitution categorically makes the armed forces subordinate to civilian authority, patriotic, professional and non-partisan.
"We are watching in our millions and those who wish to ride on the back of the tiger will end up inside. The guns will follow the politics and not politics following the guns."
Chipanga also took a swipe at war veterans whom he described as "deadwood, traitors, looters, common criminals and rebels".
He said also claimed that General Chiwenga was involved in looting the country's diamonds revenues. President Mugabe said Zimbabwe lost about US$15 billion at the Marange diamond fields.
"Cde Chiwenga, we await the full report on the whereabouts of the missing US$15 billion as the army never accounted for the revenue after extraction of diamonds in Marange," said Chipanga.
"We are watching you and let us remind each other that you were very instrumental in the creation of one centre of power in the party only because you and Mnangagwa were benefiting."
The back and forth between the defence forces chief and the Zanu PF league comes as the succession fight in the ruling party comes to a head.
General Chiwenga is linked to a ruling party faction which backs Mnangagwa to take-over from Mugabe while the youth league has set its stall with Grace Mugabe and the G40 group.