Mugabe must rule till he dies - Zim army commander

A top army commander in Zimbabwe has told a local paper that elections must be held in 2011 and that...

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. Picture: Gallo Images/Getty Images

A top army commander in Zimbabwe has told a local paper that elections must be held in 2011 and that former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is not the right candidate to win.

Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba said President Robert Mugabe could only be replaced when he dies.

Nyikayaramba makes no apologies for his stance. He told the Zimbabwe Independent that the Movement for Democratic Change was trying to make soldiers revolt by denying them funds.

The top army commander said Mugabe was like a father and could only be replaced when he dies.

These comments show to what extent Zimbabwe's security forces remain loyal to Mugabe despite the coalition deal.

Tsvangirai has been pressing for security sector reform, but the brigadier general said it is not needed and Tsvangirai is not the right candidate to win elections.