Paul Temba Nyathi
Paul Temba Nyathi
Born(1946-08-17)August 17, 1946
Mayezane in Gwanda
  • Politician
Political partyMDC (former)
Spouse(s)Petronella Nyathi

Paul Temba Nyathi is a Zimbabwean politician and former member of the original MDC as well as the MDC (Welshman Ncube).


Paul was the 17th son of peasant farmers. His father had nine wives and 36 children.

Political Career

Nyathi began his career as a primary school teacher. He became a member of ZAPU and was appointed a provincial leader before being jailed for three years in Wha Wha prison, Gwelo, for recruiting people to train as freedom fighters. In prison, he studied for a Bachelor of Arts through the University of South Africa by correspondence.

When he came out of prison in 1979 he was appointed to ZAPU's central committee, a position he held until 1987 when the Unity Accord came into place.

In 1980, he travelled to the then Soviet Union where he spent a year studying centralised economic development in Moscow. When he came back he lectured in co-operative development at Mashiyo Kushingo agricultural college for a year. In 1982 Nyathi joined the Zimbabwe Project Trust as a project officer promoting co-operative development. Seven years later he became the education director of ZPT; three years after that he was appointed ZPT's deputy director and for the past eight years has been its director.

An expert on demobilisation, Nyathi has worked as an adviser on the subject for the Ministry of Defence.

He was a founding member of the MDC in 1999.

When there was a split in the MDC in 2005, Nyathi joined the splinter MDC party now led by Welshman Ncube.

Leaving active Politics

In 2015, Nyathi stepped down from his active position in the MDC saying he wanted to focus on civil society work. He said he'd remain a card-carrying member.[1]


Having grown up in a polygamous Paul Temba Nyathi said "I grew up in a harmonious family, but polygamy is a dysfunctional system that has no place in a modern society."

The two men who Nyathi says have had the greatest impact on him have been Nelson Mandela and Joshua Nkomo. "Even though I did not always agree with Nelson Mandela's policies, I admired his resilience and tolerance. Joshua Nkomo had a profound influence on me as a youngster. I respected his emphasis on nation-building. He was very brave in an environment where it would have been very easy to be divided on the basis of ethnicity and tribe. "Zimbabwe's strength lies in its diversity and in uniting that diversity as a tool for powerful, productive change."


  1. Nduduzo Tshuma, MDC reshuffle after Nyathi quits, Chronicle, Published: 16 July 2015, Retrieved:24 April 2018