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Zimbabwe PM 'is security threat'

A Zimbabwean general has called prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai a "security threat" and accused him of taking instructions from Westerners that endanger national security.

Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba told the Herald Newspaper that the military will do anything to keep long-time President Robert Mugabe in power.

"We will die for him to make sure he remains in power," the Herald quoted him as saying. The Herald is a mouthpiece for Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.

Brig Gen Nyikayaramba, a member of the Joint Operational Command of generals and police chiefs, said the military and Mugabe's Zanu-PF party are "inseparable."

Mr Mugabe joined a troubled coalition in 2009 with Morgan Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader. Mr Tsvangirai had accused the military of bias and meddling in politics.

In the past, Brig Gen Nyikayaramba has acted as unofficial spokesman for the usually secretive Joint Operational Command that is often seen as the real power behind Mugabe, 87.

Top military officials have repeatedly said they would not serve under Mr Tsvangirai if he became president because he did not take part in guerrilla war that ended white rule at independence in 1980.

Military commanders have refused to salute Mr Tsvangirai on state occasions.

Brig Gen Nyikayaramba, a former guerrilla in the seven-year bush war, said the military now viewed Mr Tsvangirai as a security threat for his ties with Western nations demanding Mugabe's removal.

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