HARARE –As he is well known “Arthur Mutambara” as a political opportunist atleast that’s what other people call him , others credit him for pioneering student activism but very few will disagree that the garrulous robotics professor has an abundance of wit.
It is little wonder why the former student leader who later became the deputy prime minister in the shaky government of national unity (GNU) had the Southern African Political Economy Series (Sapes) Trust audience eating from his palm during the launch of his book In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream: An Autobiography of Thought Leadership in Harare last Wednesday.
Emerging from the shadow for the first time since making an unceremonious exit from the grand political stage, many expected him to give his opinion on the political state of the country.
But he skirted the topic, choosing to see the lighter side of the factional, succession and tribal wars devouring the former liberation movement. “Some of you will ask me what do you think of Lacoste? What do you think of G40? All I can say is that I supervised (Emmerson) Mnangagwa and I supervised (Sydney) Sekeramayi, so I can do a seminar here and tell you if they are able to be president. I have very good insights in terms of
their abilities,” he said.
“…don’t tell me you are Lacoste you love Mugabe, don’t tell me you are G40 you love Mugabe, you don’t.
“If you love him help to do an autobiography…Mugabe is the most interesting person in Zimbabwe — remember I said interesting not important…but this book is not being written because G40 insists he should run in election next year, shame on you!…we should have a book not an election.”
Mutambara gave a few highlights into his seesaw relationship with Mugabe during his time as a student leader. Mugabe was later accused of shielding Mutambara from being stripped of power in the GNU amid increased pressure from the courts and regional bodies to strip him of the position.
On Wednesday, Mutambara took time to pay tribute to former Zanu PF politburo member Rugare Gumbo, who was instrumental in helping him secure a Rhodes Scholarship in 1991,
recommending him as one of the brightest young minds in the country who was destined to be a future leader.