Oppah Muchinguri
Oppah Muchinguri.jpeg
BornOppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri
(1958-12-14) December 14, 1958 (age 62)
EducationUniversity of Zimbabwe
Alma materUniversity of Zimbabwe
  • Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.
  • Politician
  • Member of Parliament
EmployerGovernment of Zimbabwe
OrganizationMinistry Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education
Home townManicaland
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s)Anthony Kashiri (m. 2015)
Tapiwa Rushesha (divorced 1990)
ChildrenTanya Rushesha, Natasha Muchinguri

Oppah Muchinguri is the current minister of higher and tertiary education in the Republic of Zimbabwe. She is aligned to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) Front led by Robert Mugabe. Muchinguri is also a member of the Central Committee and Politburo representing Manicaland province. She is also a member of parliament for Mutasa Central Constituency.

Background and Personal Life

Muchinguri a born and raised up in Mutasa District's Zongoro Area, close to the eastern border town of Mutare in the Manicaland province in the then Rhodesia now Zimbabwe. She was born Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri on the 14th of December 1958. Muchinguri was married to Tapiwa Rushesha but the two divorced in the 1990s. The two had children together named Natasha Rushesha and Tanya Rushesha. [1] In May 2013, it was reported in sections of the media that Muchinguri was dating a clergyman, Bishop Anthony Kashiri. At the time, Muchinguri said that they would get married in December the same year.[2] She however only announced publicly that she was married to Kashiri in January 2015.[3]


She graduated with a Master of Science degree in International Relations from the University of Zimbabwe in 2013.[4] Oppah did her primary school at St James Zongoro, an Anglican run institution about 30 kilometres from Mutare, along Nyanga Road.

Political Career

She participated in the liberation war of the Second Chimurenga fighting in the Josiah Tongogara- commanded Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). She received her military training in Mozambique and was also passenger in a car crash that killed Tongorara on the eve of independence in December 1979.[5]

At independence, she was appointed Private Secretary to the President between 1980 and 1981. She had been 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 made Minister of State in the President’s Office, a post she held until 2000. Muchinguri's popularity came in 2005 when she was appointed Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development. In the ongoing factional fights in the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), Muchinguri is allegedly linked to the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction that has a mission to prevent Joice Mujuru from succeeding Robert Mugabe.[6]

In 2011, Muchinguri lambasted top ZANU PF officials who were using their positions to amass wealth calling them 'crooks'. She even threatened to expose those involved in the grabbing of farms and looting of diamonds.[7]

Positions Held

  1. Secretary to the President
  2. Governor of Manicaland Province (2000-2003)
  3. Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development (2005-2009)[8]
  4. Central Committee Member
  5. Politburo Member
  6. Member of Parliament for Mutasa Central Constituency-2013
  7. Secretary General of ZANU PF women's League
  8. Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education in the ZANU PF party (2014)
  9. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education (2014)

Stepping Down

Muchinguri made headlines in 2014 when she voluntarily stepped do from her position as the secretary of the women's League in the ZANU PF party. The stepping down a received differently by the Zimbabwean public. Other viewed as a calculated move to bring the first lady into the mainstream Zimbabwean political arena.

Muchinguri, Grace Mugabe and Factionalism

During the period towards the ZANU PF People’s congress, Oppah Muchinguri and Grace Mugabe went on a crusade denouncing hat they called divisive element in the ZANU PF party. Muchinguri together with the first lady openly accused the then vice president Joice Mujuru of fanning factionalism in the party and also plotting to unseat Robert Mugabe. In fact on the forefront of the o called “Meet the People” rallies conducted by Grace Mugabe in 2014 in which the first lady openly called for the resignation of the then vice president Joice Mujuru. Muchinguri has been generally viewed as a Mugabe loyalist. He has also been closely linked to Emmerson Mnangagwa and Jonathan Moyo.


In 2014, Muchinguri was one of the people appointed by president Robert Mugabe in the cabinet reshuffle. This appointment came after the controversial ZANU PF conger which the demotion of some senior member as well a cabinet ministers. Muchinguri was given the post of Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education which a previously led by Olivia Muchena who was fired on allegation of factionalism.[9]


Muchinguri was alleged to have fallen in love with a number of men especially during the post-colonial period. One such figure a Simon Chimbetu who also penned a song titled “Oppah” and this makes the allegations likely true. Muchinguri also divorced her husband in the 1990’s. Some have also speculated that Muchinguri a girlfriend to former Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) leader Josiah Tongogara in the 1970’s.[10]

Child's Paternity

Some media houses reported that Muchinguri's daughter Tanya Rushesha was fathered by Robert Mugabe. The allegations were brought forward by a former Mugabe bodyguard only identified as Musori. Musori claimed Muchinguri was once involved in a relationship with President Mugabe whilst she was a secretary at Sate House. The rumours or claims remained unconfirmed and there was no response from either Muchinguri or Mugabe on the matter.[11]


The late musician Simon Chimbetu sang a song titled Oppah which talks about his love for such a woman. it was widely believed it was dedicated to Muchinguri.

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  1. Oppah Muchinguri finds new love, Nehanda Radio, Published: May 14, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  2. Oppah Muchinguri finds new love, Weekend Post, Retrieved:24 January 2015, Published:12 May 2013
  3. Muchinguri finds new love, The Herald, Retrieved:24 Jan 2015, Published:24 jan 2015
  4. OPPAH MUCHINGURI GRADUATES FROM UZ, NewsDzeZimbabwe, Published: September 14, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  5. Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  6. Dumisani Muleya, Zanu PF factions bug each other’s hotel rooms Nehanda Radio, Published: December 9, 2011, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  7. Misa, Muchinguri says Zanu full of crooks, The Zimbabwean, Published: February 5, 2011, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  8. , Oppah Muchinguri, "Africa Confidential", retrieved:15 Dec 14"
  9. L .Mataire, Mujuru Betrayed Our Trust, "The Herald", published:13 Dec 14,retrieved:15 Dec 14"
  10. , Oppah Muchinguri Finds New Love, "Zimbabwe", published:13 May 14,retrieved:15 Dec 14"
  11. H. Fisher, Mugabe is Father of Oppah Muchinguri’s Daughter Tanya Rushesha Claims Ex-Bodyguard,Now Daily, retrieved:30 Jan 2015 "