Mugabe has weaned himself from masses: Mutambara

ONE of Zimbabwe’s most decorated ex-combatants, army officer and long-serving diplomat, Agrippah Mutambara has crossed the floor to join Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Mutambara, whose Chimurenga name was Dragon Patiripakashata, joined the struggle in 1975 and trained in Mozambique under Zanla forces.

He held various positions including member of general staff, instructor in guerrilla tactics, director of politics in Zanla, operations commander and chief representative of Zanu in Ethiopia.

Ambassador Agrippa Mutambara
Ambassador Agrippa Mutambara

After independence, he was commissioned as a colonel of the Zimbabwe National Army and appointed the first commandant of the Zimbabwe Staff College. He served as Deputy Brigade Commander in Masvingo and Bulawayo before he served as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Cuba (with multiple accreditation to Guyana and Nicaragua), Russia (with multiple accreditation to Ukraine, Belarus, Khazakstan and Poland), and Mozambique (with multiple accreditation to Swaziland) between 1993 and 2014.

He is still in government employment, but has submitted a request to be retired after he joined ZimPF, where he is a member of the party’s external affairs committee. NewsDay Chief Reporter Everson Mushava (ND) caught up with Mutambara (AM) to understand why he has abandoned Zanu PF and severed ties with President Robert Mugabe.

Below are excerpts of the interview.

ND: Ambassador Mutambara, you worked in President Robert Mugabe’s government for many years. What influenced your decision to leave Zanu PF for ZimPF? Was the decision voluntary?

AM: The decision to join the armed struggle was mine alone, motivated by the injustices I saw around me.

The decision to leave Zanu PF is mine alone, motivated by the injustices I see around me.

Unlike other comrades, I have not been suspended, dismissed or influenced to leave Zanu PF. My conscience forbids me from remaining in Zanu PF given its track record of intimidation and violence that run against the ethos and values of our revolutionary armed struggle.

The manner in which Mujuru was removed on unsubstantiated allegations is a disgrace to Zanu PF.
Mugabe had the power to remove her on grounds of poor performance. It did not require First Lady Grace Mugabe — holding an unelected and ceremonial position — to undress her using language unbefitting of any mother, to force her to resign or be dismissed.

Even today, the language used against Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is deplorable. Slogans such as “Pamberi neMazoe Crush” — an individual’s product being made a national slogan — is an affront to what the revolution taught us. To add insult to injury, the youths have come up with the slogan “Munhu wese kunaMai”. What exactly does this mean?

To me, it meant a significant shift in policy. It meant the one centre-of-power was now shifting from Mugabe to Grace.

In broad daylight Mugabe has been robbed of his authority and there is now a new boss in town — Grace.

ND: Can you describe your relationship with Mugabe?

AM: Initially, my relationship with Mugabe seemed good as evidenced by the senior responsibilities I was assigned to during and after our liberation struggle. However, at a later stage the relationship seemed to taper off.

ND: You said your relationship with Mugabe has tapered off, can you explain why?

AM: I used to write to Mugabe criticism of what I considered was going wrong both in government and in Zanu PF. I believe my well-intended criticism did not go down well with him, particularly, my criticism of the modus operandi of the then Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono and the manner in which the party’s commissariat department conducted itself.

ND: In your assessment, what type of person is Mugabe?

AM: The Mugabe I knew during the struggle is different from the one I know today.

The first Mugabe was a man of principles, a visionary, teacher and an orator, an inspirational guru, who I grew to know, to love and who the struggle had turned into a blood brother, a man who did not forget those he had been through difficulties with. In my book entitled The Rebel in Me, I appeal for forgiveness for any minor indiscretions attributable to him.

The second Mugabe is the complete opposite of the first. He is a despot for whom the struggle was fought so that he could rule until death, even if it means he has to rule from a wheelchair. He has distanced himself from the comrades, who loved him and were prepared to die for him.

He surrounds himself with relatives and views those who are not related to him as a threat to his being. He listens to gossip and is being manoeuvred by those close to him to create a dynasty.

The party that he assiduously fought to build, for which many comrades sacrificed their lives, will go down in history as the party that survived one leader.

The indiscretions attributable to the second Mugabe, unless arrested now, go beyond the bounds of being minor.

ND: You wrote a book, The Rebel in Me, may you briefly describe what your book is about and why you gave it that title? Do you describe yourself as a rebel and why?

AM: You are encouraged to read my book to appreciate the full significance of choosing such a title. I rebelled against the injustices of the Rhodesian regime and that’s why I joined the armed struggle. I am rebelling against the injustices of Zanu PF and that’s why I have joined ZimPF.

ND: Why do you think ZimPF is the party that can remove Mugabe from power?

AM: ZimPF is a people-centred party. Our president will not have authoritarian power. The culture of hero-worshipping even our president is barred by our constitution.

The eulogising of a president using totems does not reflect a national character and should only be used at family or tribal gatherings. In ZimPF, there are no negative slogans as “Pasi na … (down with…).” The culture of violence is totally disallowed by our constitution.

ZimPF is founded on good morals and respect of the dignity of every citizen. We do not view differences in political thinking as reason for having antagonistic relations.

ND: Critics of ZimPF say your party is made up of rejects from Zanu PF, people who have been fired from Zanu PF — what is your comment?

AM: ZimPF is an all-inclusive party. No person is considered a reject even though there might be differences of opinion. Every Zimbabwean is welcome to join ZimPF.

38 Comments

  1. Some sound arguments….

    1. This may sound good but read from http://mg.co.za/article/2007-04-25-meeting-the-army-commander and learn more about this man. He is trying to make himself relevant in Zim politics but he has black spots (sins) all over his body.

  2. Not only sound but sober thoughts. If only all politically blinded Zimbabweans would open their intellectual aptitudes, surely Zimbabwe would not have been allowed to fall this far low. Unfortunately, we have some thugs amongst us who benefit from the menace of manipulation by those we entrusted with our lives that not even insanity suffices to describe them and the savage they embrace.

    1. Thinking just like I am Parwei; if we had the likes of Agrippa Mutambara in the majority, Mugabe would have been stopped long ago and our country could have avoided the situation it is in now. The problem we have 99% morons in the population – How DO YOU XPLAIN GROWN UP MEN, SUPPOSED TO HAVE 5 BRAINS STILL BOOTLICKING Mugabe IGNORING THAT Mugabe IS G40 Number 1. IF PEOPLE LIKE SUC AS Margaret Dongo, Edgar Tekere AND THE LIKE HAD RECEIVED A SWELL OF SUPPORT, WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED THE CURRENT SICKENING BOOTLICKER TUNES…

      A SWELL OF SUPPORT IS WHAT IS NEEDED NOW, THERE IS NOTHING TO LOSE ANYMORE – THERE ARE NO MORE JOBS TO KEEP, IF YOU HAVE THE JOB, THERE IS NO SALARY, OR THE PAY IS HAPHAZARD, YOU CANNOT PLAN…

  3. i urge you all to leave grace prizi , mamuhwa murume anenjere uyu , munhu wese kuna mai mujuru, mbiri yechigandanga ka iyi

  4. Good points but your Achilles heel is Dydmus Mutasa. See how he prevaricates when asked about his role in oiling the terror machine.

  5. Hapana zviripo apa, this rapist who raped sir Todd Garfield’s daughter at gun point? What kind of a leader will he be? read the Garfield daughter book long published ago, and more he did it to only the few whites who were in support of the struggle. He is a despot and dangerous to the womankind. Moreover its all about donor funds, Mujuru is a corrupt mother. Useless news.

  6. good points however according to me i still believe mugabe was ok from the beginning. we are seeing fruits now. we all thought he was an orange but, suddenly we have discovered he is not that.

  7. Agrippa Mutambara you sound very intelligent and would do better forming your own party than joining a party formed by Mujuru and Mutasa whose involvement in corrupt deals and violent actions when they were still members of Zanu-PF makes ZPF vision seem like a lie.

    1. I disagree with Wiseman in toto. raed the book “Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe”, by Judith Garfield Todd and you will know who this man is and what he is capable of.

      1. You can read an edited extract from the book “Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe”, by Judith Garfield Todd from http://mg.co.za/article/2007-04-25-meeting-the-army-commander

  8. pamkadya pakakwana, its better you resign and go kumusha kunorima not to join politics again. hamunyariwo here?

  9. Poritiko dzechigumbu nekukandirana uta nemagangavuta tasiya isu vamwe ,tofarira munhu anoita vupenyu hwevana veZim vabude kubva muhuruva vachindogeza nevuchi nemukaka . Tingava tinechigumbu nemhondi dzeZANU asi kana togwisanisa nemhandu imwe achimwene Mugabe tinokugashira nomufaro cheso . HOKOYO 2018 neRERUN

  10. I respect the way the man articulates himself, irregardless of our collective reservations for this People First Project. He provides a paradigm shift from the likes of Mutasa who still irritably highly esteem Mugabe inspite of the glaring suffering that our people has delivered unto in the name of this Mugabe.

    1. “Collective…” ??? You and who..get lost pliz

    2. “collective reservations “..you and who?get away faa

  11. The writing is on the wall! This Grace and G40 project will destroy the Party, ZPF and Zimbabwe if Mugabe persists on implementing this project. Clearly the majority of the party members, War Veterans, securocrats and the majority of ordinary Zimbabweans do not accept the Grace and G40 Presidency. In the interest of the Party, Govt and the country the President Mugabe must come to his senses and abandon this project to save the Party. If the President refuses to change course the seeds of madam Mao will germinate in zimbabwe. This is a very serious and urgent matter.

  12. I am skeptical about this ZimPF thing. If I read this correctly, Mutamabra “…is still in government employment, but has submitted a request to be retired after he joined ZimPF, where he is a member of the party’s external affairs committee”. This tells us a lot about this project and its links with ZANU-PF or people who, all along have been giving Zimbabweans a hard time. I dont expect these people to discard their mentality that has sustained them for over 36 years.

    1. Speak for yourself. Criticising those who have made a solid move against Mugabe while you fold your lazy hands will not bring freedom. We all do not have to form our own parties. I appreciate and will vote for People First!

    2. heish i watched the meet the people rally by Dr Amai chiweshe ukaona kune war vet who still applouse her is bogus war vet. Unless one holds reputable rank in government . That woman is poison. I think that was the best decision. Take care of your life.

  13. Sounds good

  14. Well thought chief!

  15. kananda Wa kananda Delta

    ZANU PF ( G40 )
    ZANU PF ( Lacoste)
    ZANU PF ( ZPF )

    together is one, they have the same characteristics .

  16. heish i watched the meet the people rally by Dr Amai chiweshe ukaona kune war vet who still applouse her is bogus war vet. Unless one holds reputable rank in government . That woman is poison. I think that was the best decision. Take care of your life.

  17. i want to congratulate mutambara for the boldest decision he has made. i will also be part of zpf. this is the only way grace’s zanu (pf) can be thrashed in 2018. comrades lets not be selfish and delay change. come and rally behind jtrm and please prof jonathan. mugabe is someone who should be considered senile and totally unfit to rule but protected by unpatriotic grace and g40.
    bob, your house is ready in hell.

  18. HLOMURO SITHOLE

    Shut up Agrippa! I say Shut up.You deserve to be serving time in prison for rape. If you continue making noise we will call for your incarceration over that case. You deserve to be in the same place with the Gumburas of this world.

  19. “The decision to join the armed struggle was mine alone, motivated by the injustices I saw around me.
    The decision to leave Zanu PF is mine alone, motivated by the injustices I see around me.”

    Powerful and encouraging statement Tata Mutambara. Continue to live by the lines

  20. I get your drift, BUT where were you all these 3 decades-plus when ZANU-PF was ruining the country?? Why didn’t speak up then? Why wait until 36 years of ruin??

  21. I wonder where such people were all along. I mean the likes of Mutambara. I then blame people with military background, they react late after being very loyal to bad leaders for a long time. When boy dze’NDIZVO’ said things about bad leaders they kept quite. I then begin not to trust them.

    He is not alone. The problem is that war veterans say, “…. shefu vati……”

    If we had combined his ideas with ours long back, we would have been somewhere today. We would have traveled to the democratic Zimbabwe in 2000.

  22. lt’s sad to note it has taken a considerable nō of yrs for pple to realise their houses have doors

    shame. let’s have more feloz wt such courage.

    but. but one question: how long does it take to write a book???

  23. That’s superb!!!! 4ward ZimPF

  24. mashoko inyore kutaura, mazwi avo huchi kutapira, vanouya sehama ivo varimharadzi, Mazanu ose dai ambosuduruka mazozviona nhasi kuti nyika irimurufuse? zvavanotaura takazviudzwa na Morgan muna 1998 ivo varimubishi kumora nyika nekumbunyikidza zvizvarwa zvemo kutiita sevatorwa nhasi moda kuti ndimugabe oga, ibvai kumhepo zororai timbozama vamwe zvamakatiita gore re re run tichirikuzviziva. Kana matoda mungatouya kuzoibatana nemademocrats kwete kuzvimirira murimhondi uye vapambepfumi.

  25. Cde Mtambara, how did you get a FARM at Sangere, opposite Pednor school in Bindura ? You force marched the owner out with only one car and clothes ? The rest you still remember. Resign also from the Farm .

    Thank you

  26. with mai mujuru surely our country will never be same again
    thank you cde, we hope to see more progressive minds doing the same thing. let grace and her relatives remain in that rotten party

  27. mai MUJURU maituma ZANU PF supporters 2008 vachidambura maoko opposition supporters long sleeve and short sleeve,they terrorise villagers muchivararisa kumabase in rural arrears,kunana Epworth vanhu vaitadza kuuya kubasa chaiko,now makuda kudzoka kuvanhu vamaishungurudza HAZVIITE HAZVIITE MAKATIRWADZISA dai ZANU PF yaramba ichikanganisa maRallies enyu so that muone kurwadza kwazvo pamaitira vamwe.

  28. machongwewezaka

    the same people who noticed and fought against the opressions of colonialism are the same again to raise the alarm in today’s opressions. when they say their opnions we stand high and shout shut up to them. most of us the yhouth were being used to opress and torture our fellow comrades becoz we were promised little from this gangrene shit. we never try getting out of this oppression wthout the lead of these guys…the problem is most of those who talk here do not vote….and they say there is no reason for doing so…now look mugabe has brought his keen and kith to fight for his reign…all his relatives will be ministers by 2020 if we dont act…

  29. Haaa chiro akataura ngaataure zvake,nyika vakawuraya kare,isu tofamba naMorgan

  30. Sorry for Zimbabwe but you are not alone in your unpredictable situation. Uganda is also suffering under another “liberator” with a different name. Africa needs special prayers

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