Oppah Muchinguri

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Oppah Muchinguri
Bishop Kashiri and Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri
Oppah Muchinguri
BornOppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri
(1958-12-14) December 14, 1958 (age 65)
ResidenceMutare, Harare
EducationUniversity of Zimbabwe
  • Former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.
  • Politician
  • Member of Parliament
EmployerGovernment of Zimbabwe
OrganizationMinistry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs
Home townManicaland
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s)Bishop Anthony Kashiri (m. 2015)
Tapiwa Rushesha (divorced 1990)
ChildrenTanya Rushesha, Natasha Rushesha

Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri is a politician and former Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Water, Environment, and Climate and Higher and Tertiary Education. Muchinguri is a member of Zanu-PF and a member of their Central Committee and Politburo representing Manicaland Province. She was also a Member of Parliament for Mutasa Central Constituency. On 15 December 2017, she was appointed as the National Chairperson for the Zanu-PF party, becoming the first woman to assume that position.

Personal Details

Born: Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri on 14 December 1958, and lived in Mutasa District's Zongoro Area, in Manicaland Province in the then Rhodesia.
Marriage: Muchinguri was married to Tapiwa Rushesha and they divorced in the 1990s after having two children together who are Natasha Rushesha and Tanya Rushesha.[1]
In 2015 Muchinguri announced her marriage to Bishop Anthony Kashiri. [2]


Primary: St James Zongoro, an Anglican Institution.
Secondary: Hartzell High School.
Tertiary: She graduated with a Master of Science degree in International Relations from the University of Zimbabwe in 2013. [3]


Oppah received her military training in Mozambique and later joined the Second Chimurenga fighting in the Josiah Tongogara- commanded Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, (ZANLA). [4]

At independence, she was appointed Private Secretary to the President between 1980 and 1981. She was Deputy Minister twice, first of State for External Affairs between 1989 and 1993 and of Environment and Tourism between 1993 and 1997. Her first ministerial post came in 1997 when she was appointed Minister of State in the President’s Office, a post she held until 2000. Muchinguri was appointed Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development in 2005. [5]

In the 1990 Parliamentary Election (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Mutare North returned to Parliament:

Turnout - 30 671 voters or 72.22 %

In the 2000 Elections, (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Mutare North returned to Parliament:

In the 2013 Elections, (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections), sixty seats were allocated to women, under the 2013 Zimbabwe Constitution. They were divided into 6 per province, based on a party's share of votes in the province. The parties produced lists of candidates before the elections. Successful candidates are listed in bold. Only parties which had successful candidates are listed. Vote counts for these seats may vary slightly from the official provincial vote totals due to some multiple candidates votes.

Miriam Mushayi Fanny Chirisa Oppah Muchinguri
Lydia Chimbadzo Joyce Makonya Ester Chikuni
Shelter Kaserera Muriel Rumhungwe Annastazia Nyahino
Linda Masunde Mary Kuhudzai Lucia Chitura
Anna Dangirwa Akulina Chapwanya Ivy Mhlanga
Nyundo Simende Stella Gambiza Shylet Chimbetete

Positions Held

Following the 23-24 August 2023 elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced his new cabinet on 11 September 2023. The newly named Ministry of Defence, Security and War Veterans is headed by Oppah Kashiri with deputy Brig General Rtd Levy Mayihlome.


Farm Mechanisation Scheme

In July 2020, Oppah Muchinguri was listed, in the BSR of 18 July 2020, as a beneficiary in the 2007 RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme, as a result of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme.

The data is analysed by recipients origin:.

  • Mashonaland provinces had the most beneficiaries, both in terms of numbers and value.

Mashonaland East got US$47,5 million,
Mashonaland West US$44,7 million
Mashonaland Central had US$34,2 million.

  • Two Matebeleland provinces had a combined total of US$13,9 million.
  • Masvingo US$26,4 million,
  • Manicaland US$18 million
  • Midlands US$14 million.

Oppah Muchinguri is listed under the thematic group “Politicians”. According to the list, she and her Middlepos Farm have a debt of US$383,131.00 under the scheme. [7]

Push To Replace Mujuru - 2009 to 2017

In 2009, it was reported that the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction was to push for the election of Muchinguri as vice-president of the party to replace Joice Mujuru who was accused of working with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T. .[8]

In 2014 when Joice Mujuru was Vice President it was reported again that the Mnangagwa camp was strategizing on how Mujuru could be challenged and Muchinguri would take over. The media reported that there were moves to push Women Affairs minister, Oppah Muchinguri to challenge Mujuru at the Congress so that they take her out of the succession race and pave way for the strategic positioning of Mnangagwa to ultimately take over the reins when the time comes.[9]

Muchinguri, however, dismissed the reports as baseless fabrications created by individuals with an agenda to divide Zanu-PF.

“In Zanu PF, we don’t work like that. We have clear rules and regulations and established structures in place,” said Muchinguri. [9]

In October 2017 the team Lacoste Faction was reportedly backing Muchinguri for vice presidency in the event that Mnangagwa did not succeed.[10]Lacoste Manoeuvring To Have Oppah Muchinguri Nominated For Female Vice President

Support of War Vets -2011

In 2011, Muchinguri threatened to expose Zanu PF officials who do not appreciate the sacrifice the War Veterans made and how hard it was for them to liberate the country. Muchinguri reportedly said Zanu PF was infiltrated by crooks who were abusing their positions to amass wealth through corruption and underhand dealings and that she was not afraid to expose them despite being in top positions. [11]

Alleged ties to Emmerson Mnangagwa

Muchinguri has been generally viewed as a Mugabe loyalist and also closely linked to Emmerson Mnangagwa and Jonathan Moyo. In 2013, the battle for succession for Presidency between Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who both denied that they harbour presidential ambitions at that time, reportedly spilt over to Zanu PF’s provincial structures. Muchinguri was one of the members accused of causing divisions and belonging to the Mnangagwa camp in Manicaland. [12]

After Mnangagwa was dismissed in early November 2017 by Robert Mugabe, Muchinguri was largely accused of being the 'godmother' of team Lacoste and being an accomplice to remove Mugabe from presidency. [13]

Stepping Down As Secretary of Women's League - 2014

Muchinguri made headlines in 2014 when she stepped down from her position as the Secretary of the Women's League in Zanu PF. The stepping down was received as a calculated move to bring Grace Mugabe into the mainstream Zimbabwean political arena. However, in November 2017 Muchinguri revealed that she had been forced to resign from her position,

It’s unfair to say I handed it over. I was pushed to surrender that position. Grudgingly, I surrendered that position because some women approached me to say I should give it up for the first lady. I don’t know what benefits they were looking for, so I had to do so reluctantly.


Appointment in Cabinet - 2014

During the Zanu PF People’s Congress in 2014, Oppah Muchinguri and Grace Mugabe went on a crusade denouncing what they called divisive elements in Zanu PF. Muchinguri together with Grace Mugabe openly accused the then vice president Joice Mujuru of fanning factionalism in the party and also plotting to unseat Robert Mugabe. Soon after, Muchinguri was one of the people appointed by Robert Mugabe in the cabinet reshuffle later that year. The appointment came after the Zanu PF congress which also saw the demotion of some senior members and cabinet ministers. Muchinguri was given the post of Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education which was previously led by Olivia Muchena who was dismissed on allegations of factionalism. [15]

Covid-19 Comments

In 2020, Oppah Muchinguri was in the limelight after she took delight in the virus’ spread — then mainly in Western countries, such as the U.S. — saying it was God’s punishment for imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Muchinguri told a Zanu PF meeting in Chinhoyi:

"The coronavirus is the work of God punishing countries that imposed sanctions on us. They’re now keeping indoors. Their economies are screaming, just like they did to ours. (Donald) Trump should know that he is not God."


In January 2021, Muchinguri said China's botched "experiments" were responsible for the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government distanced itself from the accusations made in a tearful interview as Muchinguri mourned Ellen Gwaradzimba who died from COVID-19. In an audio recording Muchinguri is heard saying:

"The disease is now on a fresh peak now. Cases are rising again. They (Chinese) are the ones who started their experiments and things got out of hand and now their experiments are costing us. They cannot control this now. They have costed us. Those whom we call our all-weather friends, look at what they have done to us.



The late musician Simon Chimbetu sang a song titled Oppah which talks about his love for such a woman, was widely believed to be dedicated to Muchinguri. Muchinguri was passenger in a car crash that killed Tongorara on the eve of independence in December 1979 and it was reported the two were in a romantic relationship. [18]

Picture Gallery


  1. Oppah Muchinguri finds new love, Nehanda Radio, Published: May 14, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  2. finds new love , , Published: 24 January 2015 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  3. OPPAH MUCHINGURI GRADUATES FROM UZ, NewsDzeZimbabwe, Published: September 14, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  4. Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  5. Dumisani Muleya, Zanu PF factions bug each other’s hotel rooms Nehanda Radio, Published: December 9, 2011, Retrieved: July 9, 2014,
  6. , Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Published:January 5, 2014, Retrieved:15 Dec 14
  7. https://www.bigsr.co.uk/single-post/2020/07/18/BSR-EXCLUSIVE-Beneficiaries-of-the-RBZ-Farm-Mechanisation-Scheme BSR EXCLUSIVE: Beneficiaries of the RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme], Big Saturday Read, Published: 18 July 2020 Retrieved: 18 July 2020
  8. Muchinguri to Challenge Mujuru for VP’s Post, , Published: 11 June 2009 , Retrieved: 27 November 2017
  9. 9.0 9.1 VP post: Mujuru faces challenge, , Published:25 May 2014 , Retrieved: 27 November 2017
  10. Team Lacoste Hatches Plan B, , Published: 22 October 2017 , Retrieved: 27 November 2017
  11. says Zanu full of crooks, , Published: DATE_5 February 2011 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  12. vows to deal with Mnangagwa loyalists in Manicaland , , Published: 23 August 2013 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  13. Knives out for Muchinguri , , Published:7 November 2017, Retrieved:27 November 2017
  14. Muchinguri spills the beans on Grace Mugabe , , Published: 26 November 2017 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  15. L Mataire Mujuru Betrayed Our Trust, The Herald, Published:13 December 14, Retrieved:15 December 14
  16. Tony Karombo, Covid-19 denier Muchinguri’s daughter says was ‘scared’ after catching virus, ZimLIve, Published: july 29, 2021, Retrieved: December 15, 2021
  17. Anna Chibamu, G40 Demands Oppah Muchinguri’s Resignation Over Covid-19 Statements, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: January 18, 2021, Retrieved: December 15, 2021
  18. Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 9, 2014

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