Harare – A former army brigadier who quit Zimbabwe’s ruling party to protest the removal of former leader Robert Mugabe has formed a new political party.
Ambrose Mutinhiri, a veteran of the 1970s war against white minority rule, met Mugabe on Sunday before announcing he had formed an opposition party named the National Patriotic Front.
Mutinhiri had resigned from parliament last week, citing the military intervention that pressured 94-year-old Mugabe into stepping down in November as his reason for cutting ties with the ruling Zanu-PF party.
State media reported on Monday that Mutinhiri’s party had Mugabe’s backing. The party said it was sympathetic to Mugabe, posting a picture of Mutinhiri with Mugabe.
- BELOW IS THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE PARTY
Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri, who resigned from Parliament and Zanu PF last Friday over the unconstitutionality of the military coup that illegally imposed Emmerson Mnangagwa as President of Zimbabwe and led to the Army’s usurpation of the power and authority of civilian institutions including Zanu PF, paid a courtesy call on President Robert Mugabe at his Harare Blue Roof residence yesterday 4 March 2017.
Cde Mutinhiri is the Founding President and Presidential Candidate of the National Patriotic Front (NPF), whose formation was initiated on 19 November 2017 in direct response to the military coup four days earlier, and has come into fruition following an extensive private and public consultation process by its founding members.
The purpose of the courtesy call was to appraise. President Mugabe of Cde Mutinhiri’s bold and inspiring resignation as well as to thank the President for having afforded Cde Mutinhiri a cherished opportunity to work with and under him in various national capacities.
Cde Mutinhiri especially thanked President Mugabe for laying a solid and irreversible ground for generational renewal in Parliament and government through progressive policies that have empowered the youth who are now poised for unstoppable leadership roles across the political divide and in business, civil society and churches.
Cde Mutinhiri also took the opportunity to inform President Mugabe of the formation of the NPF by a cross-section of Zimbabweans including but not limited to Zanu PF members who are outraged by the unconstitutional and humiliating manner in which President Mugabe was criminally ousted from the leadership of both Zanu PF and the country by real criminals who have shamelessly damaged Zimbabwe’s fledgling constitutional democracy and dented the professional reputation of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Cde Mutinhiri told President Mugabe that the result of all this is that there’s no constitutional order in Zimbabwe today and that the government created by the coup is unlawful and illegitimate at national and international law and that, for these reasons, the NPF is approaching the Constitutional Court in Zimbabwe as well as appropriate regional, continental and international bodies to ensure the return to constitutional order and legitimacy in the country and to facilitate justice for the victims of the military coup who are currently helplessly in limbo.