|Retired Brigaddier General|
Ambrose Mutinhiri is a Zimbabwean politician, a veteran of Zimbabwe's liberation war and the former Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs. Mutinhiri is also a Retired Brigadier General of the Zimbabwe National Army. Mutinhiri resigned from Parliament and the Zanu-PF political party in March 2018 and was announced as the new Leader for the New Patriotic Front Presidential candidate for 2018 elections.
Mutinhiri was once married to another fellow politician Tracy Mutinhiri. The couple however divorced after the latter was accused of engaging in other extra-marital affairs with married men. He is the father of a famous Zimbabwean socialite Vimbai Mutinhiri who once represented Zimbabwe in the Big Brother Africa reality television show.
Mutinhiri allegedly started his political career during the days of the Second Chimurenga in the then Rhodesia. This he did through joining the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and was subsequently attested into the military wing of the revolutionary movement (ZIPRA). In fact, Mutinhiri was one of the founder members of the ZAPU party and its military wing ZIPRA. He rose through the ranks to become one of the most successful military leaders during the liberation struggle.
At independence, all guerrilla movements including the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army were merged to form one united force called the Zimbabwe National Army. Mutinhiri was one of the leaders who facilitated the merging of the two armies. By the time he retired from the army, Mutinhiri had risen through the ranks to become Brigadier General.
Mutinhiri, who is the former Member of Parliament for Marondera West , previously served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Yugoslavia, was a founder member of the military wing of ZAPU. As a senior member of ZAPU, he also served as ZIPRA chief of staff at some point. Such history, among other accolades, he has claimed, renders him one of the most senior surviving members of former ZAPU cadres. In 2004, Mutinhiri was the Minister of Youth Development and Employment Creation of the Government of Zimbabwe.
Vice Presidency Bid
In 2014, Mutinhiri claimed to be one of the few surviving senior ZAPU cadres. He also openly admitted that he will be contesting for the position of the second vice president which became vacant after the death of John Nkomo. In an interview with one of the local media houses, Mutinhiri openly confessed that “It’s true I have seniority but I have not said anything yet,” Mutinhiri told the Financial Gazette. “I am still consulting regarding the vice presidency". position.”
Invovelvement in Zanu-PF Factionalism
Mutinhiri was not left out in the tide of factionalism that rocked the nationalist party in 2014. After earlier reports that former ZAPU members had endorsed Simon Khaya Moyo for the second vice president post, Mutinhiri openly contested the move and declined that he did not take part in the endorsement of Moyo. He argued that he was one of the senior members of the party and he deserved the position of the vice president. Mutinhiri was also accused of criticizing the first lady Grace Mugabe after he continued with his bid despite her disapproval of him. For this reason among others, it was generally speculated that Mutinhiri belonged to the faction led by vice president Joice Mujuru which was pushing for Mujuru's ascendancy to the highest office.
Resignation from Zanu-PF
In March 2018. Mutinhiri announced that he will be resigning from the Zanu-PF political party and from parliament after carefully considering the events of Operation Restore Legacy. Mutinhiri reportedly said the Emmerson Mnangagwa led government was unconstitutional. His resignation letter read:
The Speaker National Assembly Parliament of Zimbabwe Parliament Building
REF: Withdrawal of Membership from Zanu-PF and Resignation From Parliament of Zimbabwe
I write to inform you of my decision to withdraw my membership from Zanu-PF with effect from today 2 March 2018, and by that very fact, my resignation as Member of the National Assembly for Marondera West as I was elected on a Zanu-PF ticket.
I have taken this decision after carefully considering the events of the past four months, starting with the unconstitutional overthrow of the elected Head of State and Government, President Robert Mugabe and his illegal replacement with Emmerson Mnangagwa, by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) through a military coup On 15 November 2017. It is a matter of profound national concern to me that, subsequent to the military coup, Zanu-PF, as well as government and State institutions, have been captured by ZDF in blatant and unprecedented violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
As a trained soldier, a former freedom fighter, a former ZIPRA Commander during the liberation struggle, a former diplomat and a former cabinet minister, I am too aware of not only the values and ethos of Zimbabwe’s armed liberation struggle and the subsequent role the founding commanders of the liberation envisaged for the national army in independent Zimbabwe but also of the functions and limits of the ZDF as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe authored through a people drive process and adopted after a national referendum as recent as 2013. The fundamental values and tenets of both Zimbabwe’s heroic liberation struggle and the Constitution of Zimbabwe dictate that executive authority is derived from the people and not from the gun. In other words, the enduring principle of Zimbabwe’s armed liberation struggle and constitutional democracy is that politics must always lead the gun. The ZDF coup of 15 November 2017 violated a cherished heritage of our armed liberation struggle and of our hard-won constitutional democracy.
I am, therefore, not lost to the illegality of the actions of a few rogue elements in the command structure of the ZDF who abused their positions to turn the guns they were entrusted with by the people of Zimbabwe to defend our sovereignty, into weapons to shoot their way into national politics and to seize control of both the State and Zanu-PF.
Our national constitution clearly defines the role of the ZDF and outlaws any of its serving members from engaging in partisan politics as was witnessed on 15 November 2017 when some rogue elements in the Command Structure staged a coup in the name of ZDF under the shocking pretext of averting a Zanu-PF electoral loss in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
It is now very clear for all to see that the party that was formed and driven by the liberation struggle guiding principle in Zipra and Zanla that politics must always lead the gun, has been hijacked and corrupted by fascist elements who suffer from the mistaken belief that access to the armoury gives them the right to dictate who should lead Zimbabwe and its people. I am a firm believer, as a disciplined former soldier and product of our nationalist movements, in the sanctity of democratic ethos and constitutionalism that put our people as the only source of legitimacy in the governance structures from local to national levels.
The fact that the ZDF trampled on the values and ideals of Zimbabwe’s armed liberation struggle and the country’s Constitution is bad enough, what is worse and totally unacceptable is that Parliament, which has a duty and obligation to defend the Constitution also sought to be part of this shameless illegality. I have no doubt that history will judge this Parliament harshly for failing to defend the fundamental law of the land in a misguided attempt to justify a military coup.
I, therefore, condemn and despise any attempt at usurping the people’s power by those entrusted with the national duty to protect the country’s citizens and their leadership. I, like many others in the country and particularly in Zanu-PF, refuse to be associated with such illegality in the false name of restoring the legacy of President Mugabe, let alone that of our heroic armed liberation struggle.
The turning of guns against an elected President of the Republic by the ZDF, in a constitutional democracy is, by extension, the turning guns and military tanks on the millions who voted President Mugabe into power. It is therefore incumbent upon every patriotic, law-abiding, Zimbabwean to stand up and condemn the coup and make sure that; never again will such an affront to the Constitution be allowed.
I am aware, as is everyone else who cares to look at the situation closely that Zimbabweans from all the country’s ten provinces are not happy with the militarization of our national politics. As such, I have chosen to be on the side of the people and to move forward with the people to restore normalcy, democracy, constitutionalism and legitimacy in Zimbabwe as a matter of national urgency.
Lastly, it was an honour and a privilege for me to serve the wonderful people of Marondera West as their Member of Parliament. I wish to take this opportunity to assure them I’ll forever be one of them. In this regard, I, therefore, shall always remain committed to their quest for development and true national unity with a common and inclusive purpose in accordance with the values and ideals of our heroic armed liberation struggle and the tenets of our constitutional democracy.
Aluta Continua. Asante Sana.
Honourable Rtd Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri, MP Marondera West
CC. Dr Obert Mpofu Secretary for Administration, Zanu-PF 
Following his resignation, Mutinhiri was announced as the Presidential Candidate for the New People Front political party.
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- , Ambrose Mutinhiri, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: 20 Nov 2014
- M. Mzumara, Rtd Brigadier-General Mutinhiri breaks silence, "Financial Gazette", published:14 Aug 2014, retrieved:20 Nov 2014"
- , Mutinhiri lied about Zipra contribution, Nehanda Radio, Published:12 August 2012, Retrieved:20 Nov 2014
- N Tshuma, I am In the Race-Says Mutinhiri, Chronicle, Published:10 October 2014, Retrieved:20 Nov 2014
- N. Tshuma, I did not vote for SK Moyo- Mutinhiri, Chronicle, Published:28 October 2014, Retrieved:20 Nov 2014
- Full Text: Former Minister Quits Zanu-PF, Parly, Says He Cannot Be Part Of “Coup” Government, PindulaNews, Published:4 March 2018 , Retrieved: 5 March 2018