Tsvangirai hits back at general

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party has described a top army general who described the MDC leader as a security threat fronting Western interests, as suffering mental hallucinations.

Douglas Nyikayaramba, a Brigadier-General in the Zimbabwe National Army, told the official Herald newspaper in an interview that Tsvangirai and his MDC party were fronting Western powers in a bid to topple President Mugabe from power.

"Tsvangirai doesn't pose a political threat in any way in Zimbabwe, but is major security threat. He takes instructions from foreigners who seek to effect regime change in Zimbabwe," Nyikayaramba told the Herald.

"This is what has invited the security forces to be involved because we want to ensure we protect our national security interests," he said.

Nyikayaramba's was responding to an open challenge by Tsvangirai after a weekend rally in Gweru where he challenged military chiefs to remove their uniforms if they wanted to challenge him politically.

This is not the first time Nyikayaramba has threatened to block the transition if Tsvangirai won the forthcoming polls.

The MDC said from the utterances that he has made in the state newspaper, the Brigadier-General and all those who have chosen him to speak on their behalf, including Zanu PF pose the real living security threat to the people of Zimbabwe.

The MDC said it was interesting to note that Nyikayaramba has arrogated himself the position of the spokesperson of the armed forces.

"We are however convinced that he speaks only for himself and some of his rogue colleagues and not on behalf of our very professional members of the armed forces," the |MDC-T said in a statement.

"Nyikayaramba’s statement in today’s The Herald, portraying President Tsvangirai as a national security threat rather than a political one shows that Nyikayaramba is suffering from some form of mental hallucination that blurs his mind to Zimbabwe’s recent history. Barely three years ago, it is the rogue elements in the police and state intelligence that brutally assaulted President Tsvangirai and left him for dead at a prayer meeting in Highfield, Harare.

"Zimbabweans no doubt remember that the same state apparatus arrested, unlawfully detained and subjected President Tsvangirai to an embarrassingly poorly stage managed 'treason trial' in 2003. It is these same people that initiated an orgy of violence that forced President Tsvangirai out of the Presidential election run-off in 2008 to avert further bloodshed. Yet Nyikayaramba has the audacity of labelling our President a national security threat!"

The MDC said Nyikaramba’s attempt to justify his continued dabbling in political affairs of this country shows his lack of knowledge and understanding of a soldier’s roles and duties in a modern democracy.

"The MDC condemns such uncouth utterances designed to incite security forces to turn against the people of Zimbabwe. We once again challenge Nyikayaramba to leave the army and contest for political power if he has the political spine to do so. He must stop timidly hiding behind the camouflage whilst acting as the Zanu PF megaphone.

"For the benefit of all our peace loving Zimbabweans, President Tsvangirai’s grand objective is to guide the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe to take over governmental power through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means. It is President Tsvangirai’s sad view however that the greatest threat to the national peace and security of Zimbabweans is state sponsored violence that the likes of Nyikayaramba want to initiate."

Tsvangirai himself was not immediately available for comment as he was traveling in Spain.

Nyikayaramba said Tsvangirai will never rule and Mugabe must be allowed to die in office.

"President Mugabe will only leave office if he sees it fit or dies. No one should be talking about his departure at the moment. We will die for him to make sure he remains in power," Nyikayaramba said.

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