Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu yesterday said Operation Restore Legacy was a matter of life and death and if it had failed, "some people could have been hanged".
Addressing a healing and reconciliation meeting at the party's Bulawayo provincial offices at Davies Hall, Cde Mpofu hailed the province for starting a process that triggered the resignation of former president Mr Robert Mugabe, by booing his wife, Grace.
He said the Zimbabwe Defence Forces' Operation Restore Legacy needed civilian and political will to be effective.
Cde Mpofu said Mr Mugabe's wife had put Zanu-PF on a self-destructive mode until Bulawayo put its foot down during the so-called 9th Youth Interface rally.
"Bulawayo, we are proud of you," he said. "You did something that eight other provinces failed to do. You said no to a woman who was insulting other men and the Vice President. You are the ones who triggered the new dispensation."
Cde Mpofu said Operation Restore Legacy could have been fatal had it failed and praised the army for the professional manner it handled the operation.
"For example, when the former President called a Cabinet meeting after the party had recalled him and initiated impeachment proceedings; I called for a meeting with the ministers as I was the most senior person in the party at that moment to find out who was attending it," he said.
"Everyone said they were not attending, but some people attended it. The former President later phoned me to come and apologise as he had been told I was the ring leader. But I said I couldn't. So, if the operation was not a success some of us could have been hanged."
Cde Mpofu said Mr Mugabe was now tarnishing his revolutionary icon status by going to bed with opposition parties.
The former President is said to have been behind the formation of the National Patriotic Front.
Cde Mpofu said at his advanced age, the former President should be playing with his grandchildren instead of trying to be a king maker.
"We loved him and we still love him, but he was led astray by his wife (Grace Mugabe) and still is," he said. "We should respect women, they are powerful. But a woman's power should not be destructive.
"Zimbabwe still respects him (Mr Mugabe) but if he continues to follow her and her advisors, his political contributions will be tarnished.
"He should be enjoying retirement with his grandchildren while playing an advisory role to people like Cde Mnangagwa. But when he starts working with people like Chamisa, it's a problem. It's nonsense."
Cde Mpofu urged war veterans not to be fooled by off shoot parties seeking endorsement from them.