Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu says former president Robert Mugabe was captured by people bent on destroying Zanu PF as he justified the military takeover of government last month
Mpofu told heads of departments and parastatals under his ministry that political cheats had infiltrated and divided Zanu PF.
"The legacy of our former president Robert Mugabe, a revered statesman and one of the founding fathers of our nation was under attack," he said.
"Political clowns, charlatans and cheats had squirmed their way into higher echelons of the party.
"The ruling party had been infiltrated and was drifting at an alarming pace from the liberation struggle towards a slippery path of self-destruction."
Mpofu said purges in the ruling party forced the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to intervene. The purges saw a number of Zanu PF officials being expelled or suspended for supporting President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe after the army forced the 93-year-old ruler to step down.
"There was founded fear among genuine cadres of the revolution that if the tide of purging that was targeting party members mainly with revolutionary credentials was to continue unabated, the demise of the party was almost assured," he said.
Mpofu, who used to sign off as Mugabe's "obedient son", applauded the intervention by the ZDF, saying that it was aimed at restoring the legacy of the former president and rid the party of criminal elements.
"The Zimbabwe Defence Forces decided to intervene to protect the gains of our revolution," he said.
"Their intervention was also aimed at preserving the legacy of our former head of state and equally rid the ruling party of sinister elements bent on archiving selfish personal aggrandisement through maligning party faithfuls."
He commended Mnangagwa's stance against corruption.
"Similarly, he [Mnangagwa] took to decisively deal with matters of corruption... again tangible evidence of these efforts has been firmly laid bare for all to see," he said.
"Those with eyes to see, let them see, and those with ears to hear, let them hear."