Mutambara defends his book on Mugabe

Late former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, late Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara


PROFESSOR Arthur Mutambara has defended the credibility of his newly published book, which opens a window on the political life of former President Robert Mugabe, who died without writing his memoirs.

In the book titled In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream, Volume III (Ideas and Solutions), Mutambara recounts the private and intimate conversations he shared with the late strongman, largely centred on Zimbabwe’s contested liberation struggle narratives.

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 43 years, was toppled through a military coup in 2017 that propelled his long-time protégé Emmerson Mnangagwa into power.

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In the latest edition of the book, which also casts light on the internecine and tribal factional conflict in Zanu-PF during the liberation struggle, Mutambara, then deputy prime minister from 2009-2013, said his efforts to persuade Mugabe to pen his autobiography hit a snag.

Mutambara highlights in the book that the late former president could not be persuaded to write his memoirs, despite the monetary fortune that the literary adventure could yield.

In an interview a fortnight ago, Mutambara, who was part of a cast that headlined the Ideas Festival held in Nyanga and organised by media mogul Trevor Ncube, told the Zimbabwe Independent that his book was beyond reproach.

“I am writing about my experiences and death is an accident of history, but it does not change my story,” Mutambara said after being quizzed on the credibility of his book.

“You can read and judge for yourself because he spoke to other people, and these people can verify because Mugabe used to tell some of these stories to me and other people.”

The former deputy premier categorically highlighted that his book was objective.

“You can look at the balance. I show Mugabe’s strange strength and weakness. This is a factual position,” he said.

After the lapse of the inclusive government in 2013, right until Mugabe’s death in 2019, Mutambara highlights in his book, the former president had not left even a “pamphlet”.

Excerpts from Mutambara’s book read: “When he dies on September 6, 2019, he has not done even a pamphlet on his life. In fact (as discussed elsewhere in this book), after the coup d’état, he is despondent, angry and dysfunctional. Mugabe completely loses interest in life. He has to be persuaded to eat!

“Of course, from 2017 to 2019, he could not write even a paragraph about his life. Robert Mugabe’s history-making 57 years of public life from 1960 to 2017 and his fascinating 95-year personal story from 1924 to 2019 are left for others to engage and document.”

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