New Mugabe-backed party ‘misplaced, mere political profiling’
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Harare ‑ The Zimbabwean government on Monday, dismissed the resignation of retired brigadier-general Ambrose Mutinhiri and subsequent formation of a new political party, the New Patriotic Front (NPF), as misplaced and mere political profiling.
Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, Simon Khaya Moyo, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “occupation of the office of Head of State and Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe is a consequence of due constitutional process”.
Mutinhiri quit Zanu-PF on March 2, in protest against what he called an “unconstitutional takeover of government” by the military. He has since met deposed former president Robert Mugabe, who has reportedly endorsed him and NPF leader.
Mugabe met Mutinhiri on March 4, at the his Blue Roof mansion in the capital.
The new political party NPF said Mutinhiri, who also resigned as Marondera West legislator, is the party’s founding president and presidential candidate in the 2018 elections.
“The purpose of the courtesy call was to apprise 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,” NPF said in a statement.
The new political formation said Mugabe congratulated Mutinhiri and impressed upon him and his new party to be “honest upholders of the legacy of the liberation struggle”.
“President Mugabe congratulated Cde Mutinhiri for taking a bold move and said that Zimbabwe needed men and women of principle who should fight to preserve the legacy of the liberation struggle legacy,” NPF said.
“He said he hopes NPF and its supporters will be honest upholders of the legacy of the liberation struggle and condemn the brutality against the people that is being witnessed under the military junta”.
Mutinhiri resigned Friday March 2, arguing that as a soldier, he was “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 [Zimbabwe Defence Forces] as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe”.
Although Moyo, who is also Zanu-PF's spokesperson, said they are not aware of any political party which has Mugabe’s involvement, he said forming a party was allowed if it was within the confines of the law.