Now, with the army having thrown its lot with exiled Mnangagwa along with veterans of the liberation struggle under the umbrella of the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association, the police top brass, led by General Augustine Chihuri has been seen to side with Grace's G40 faction while the intelligence has always been divided.
"The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith", General Constantino Chiwenga told a media conference attended by about 90 senior army officers at army headquarters.
"We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution‚ the military will not hesitate to step in‚" he said.
Mr Mnangagwa, nicknamed the "crocodile" because of his perceived shrewdness, has rebuked Mugabe, saying Zanu-PF is "not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please".
Political analysts however say the military stayed quiet then because the beneficiary of Mujuru's downfall was the 75-year-old Mnangagwa, a war veteran. But it neither likes nor trusts his wife Grace, 52, and knows that much of the country also loathes her.
Martha O' Donavan, in black hood, the American woman charged with subversion over allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe on Twitter, gets into an American Embassy vehicle after presenting herself to prison officers at Chikurubi Maximum Prison on the outskirts of Harare, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
The choice of KGIV was also poignant for an unprecedented statement that can only be rivalled by late General Vitalis Zvinavashe's infamous "straight jacket' statement issued on the eve of the 2002 presidential election and credited with tipping the scales in Mugabe's favour against a popular opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai".
Chiwenga said what was happening in the ruling party was a result of machinations of counter revolutionaries who have infiltrated the party to destroy it from within.
Chiwenga urged unfettered participation at the party's December special congress to choose new leaders.
The purging in the party had plunged the country into a crisis, he said.
"There is distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation", he said.
The crisis, he concluded, meant Zimbabwe was struggling with "cash shortages and rising commodity prices".