The National Patriotic Front (NPF) has with immediate effect, fired its founding president, Retired Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri citing incompetence and insubordination while accusing him of hiring thugs to disrupt party proceedings.
Mutinhiri resigned from Zanu-PF in March saying the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) staged a coup last November and unconstitutionally overthrew former president Robert Mugabe, to take up the presidential post in the opposition party made up of, largely, former Zanu-PF members aligned to former President.
However, all has not gone well for the former liberation war fighter as he has been accused of siding with former Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, whom the NPF alleges to be a stooge for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu-PF.
NPF spokesperson,Jealousy Mawarire,told journalists in Harare that Mutinhiri had become toxic to the party and was against the idea of forming a coalition with the Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance.
“The meeting by the National Founding Executive Committee noted that the work is done so by the National Chairperson in the ongoing negotiations for the purposes of forming an electoral coalition pact be completed before Monday 11 June 2018 We also resolved that the party’s inaugural convention be held after the July 30 harmonised elections.
“The meeting noted that Mutinhiri, our interim president , who on the 9th of May2018, at an NFEC meeting in Borrowdale , apologized for his non-challenge approach to the task the party assigned to him still showed gross incompetence ,lack of commitment to the party and its cause and therefore, the meeting decided to relive him of his duties pending reassignment
“The interim president, Rtd Brig Ambrose Mutinhiri is therefore recalled from his current position after he teamed up with a former cabinet Minister to hire thugs to disrupt an NFEC meeting at Margolis resort in Harare yesterday,’ said Mawarire.
Mawarire accused Kasukuwere, who came back home after six months in self-imposed exile, of conniving with Mutinhiri to disrupt deliberation on the coalition talks.
“We believe the former cabinet minister is causing havoc on behalf of Mutinhiri and we believe he is doing that in lue for his freedom.
“We suspect that he came back here to disrupt our frame and he was incensed when went and gave our solidarity message to the MDC Alliance. that move started everything and when the thugs came, there is a list of people that they wanted to attack, primarily the spokesperson because they believed I had the documents for the Alliance and they wanted to attack the National Political Commissar and Secretary General Mashayamombe,” alleged Mawarire.
He further revealed that Kasukuwere, prior to coming back home, had meetings with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in Zambia.
“We knew where this former cabinet Minister was, we knew the meetings that were happening with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in Zambia that is why we always said this guy was not part of the NPF,” Mawarire.
He said the decision to fire Mutinhiri was unanimous as all members who attended the meeting endorsed his dismissal.
Mawarire said Mutinhiri’s alliance with the former cabinet Minister was becoming toxic to the party and causing disruptions to the ongoing coalition talks which he said had received the blessings of Mugabe.
“Yes (former) President Mugabe is aware of this proposed alliance, we have been briefing him. We are at liberty to address any issues that we feel we want to consult him on and we have consulted him on this one and he is happy with it,” said Mawarire.
He, however, denied that Mugabe and his wife, Grace are members of the NPF. He said they are there as elders whom they seek guidance from.
Ironically, Mugabe was a sworn enemy of the MDC since its formation in 1999.