Robert Mugabe's nephew has claimed that Zimbabwean soldiers were told they could keep any cash, gold or diamonds they found during the military takeover in November.
Patrick Zhuwao, writing in an editorial on the private NewZimbabwe website, said after the riches failed to materialise the soldiers had become part of a growing resistance movement, which he dubbed #2018Resistance, loyal to the ousted president.
"The military personnel that engaged in the illegal, unconstitutional and treasonous Operation Restore Legacy were authorised to keep... whatever money, gold and diamonds that they came across," Zhuwao said.
In one prominent case in the wake of the military takeover on November 15, pictures and reports circulated on social media alleging that $10 million in cash was found stashed at the home of former finance minister Ignatius Chombo, a Grace Mugabe ally. The reports were not widely believed to be authentic.
"There were no such spoils of robbery and piracy," Zhuwao insisted at the weekend. The former labour minister claimed Emmerson Mnangagwa's new government was using scarce cash from the central bank to reward some disgruntled soldiers, but that this was being done on a "kinsmanship basis".
"Those that are not part of the inner circle and clique are also becoming part of the #2018Resistance movement," he said.
Zhuwao vowed to lend "intellectual" and other support to "the formation of movements that will cater for the genuine concerns of disenfranchised Zanu-PF members".