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Agrippa Mutambara

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Agrippa Mutambara
News bMutambara520.jpg
Born Agrippa Mutambara
Occupation
  • Politician
Organization Zimbabwe People First
Known for Being an Ambassador.

Agrippa Mutambara is a Zimbabwean politician and the interim president of Zimbabwe People First. He is a former ambassador and member of Zanu-PF.

Liberation Struggle Contribution

His Chimurenga name was Dragon Patiripakashata and he joined Zimbabwe's liberation 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.[1]

Career

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.

In an interview he said that he left Zanu-PF voluntarily because of the injustices that he saw around him. He joined Zimbabwe People First where he became leader amid protests by founders Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo. Said Mutambara:

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?

[1]

Controversy

Raping Judith Todd

In her book "Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe", Judith Todd narrates an incident in which Mutambara raped her during the Gukurahundi period. The only person she told of the incident was a retired American psychiatrist and friend who taught psychiatry at University of Zimbabwe.

Todd wrote:

"On the street I found a very smart looking Brigadier Agrippa Mutambara in khakhi uniform waiting for me. He opened the passenger door at the front of the olive green army car, I climbed in and we drove away-to where or what my mind refused to consider. I greeted the brigadier and started talking, trying to act as if everything was normal. He stopped at a bottle store, went in and bought a couple bottles of beer and orange juice and then proceeded to a house, which I think, was at the Chikurubi complex. A servant let us in, not looking at us. The brigadier led me into a bedroom, opened a bottle of beer for each of us, unstrapped his firearm in its holster, laid it on the bedside table next to my head and proceeded. I did not resist. Before long the subjugation was over, he dropped me back at our offices and I tried to continue on my road precisely as if nothing had happened."

Gukurahundi Disclaimer

Mutambara indicated that he was not involved with the Gukurahundi massacre that saw thousands being killed.

“There is a lot of misinformation on the role that I might have played in the army,” he said.“I never trained or commanded the Fifth Brigade. “The only brigades I commanded were the Fourth Brigade in Masvingo and Sixth Brigade, which was based in Bulawayo, and this particular brigade was commissioned long after Gukurahundi.”

“I want you to understand that what happened during Gukurahundi was a closely-guarded secret even to army commanders,” he said.“The only indicator that something was afoot was the fact that I might have seen some vehicles, which I had not seen before, and did not know where they were going. But otherwise, we were not privy to anything. Also at the time, I was not a member of the fighting force, and so, I have no link to Gukurahundi whatsoever.”[2]






Trivia

He has authored a book "Rebel In Me".

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mugabe has weaned himself from masses: Mutambara, NewsDay, published: March 15, 2016, retrieved: June 7, 2017
  2. Nqobani Ndhlovu (Septmber 7, 2017). "ZimPF leader distances self from Gukurahundi". Newsday. Retrieved October 19, 2017.  Check date values in: |date= (help)