Mugabe speaks from the grave: Prof Mutambara set for UK book launch

FORMER deputy prime minister, Prof Arthur Mutambara, will this Monday launch the third and final book in his autobiographical trilogy in the United Kingdom at the Law School of the University of Westminster.

The UK launch comes after similar events in Zimbabwe as well as South Africa where Mutambara is now a full professor and Director of the Institute for the future of Knowledge at the University of Johannesburg.

He was deputy prime minister in the Government of National Unity (GNU) established with regional support after the violent 2008 elections.

The latest volume is the final of a three-part series titled ‘In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream’.

A key feature of the third book is what Prof Mutambara describes as a “rare insight” into the mind of Zimbabwe’s founding leader Robert Mugabe.

“Given my unprecedented access to Robert Mugabe during the GNU, the book also covers many of our intimate conversations and reflections – what a rare insight into the man’s mind!

“Among other aspects, there are priceless nuggets and narrations from the liberation struggle – in Mugabe’s own words – which reflect his character, fears and ambitions. In particular, he directly articulates his subtle but ruthlessly Machiavellian political calculations and manoeuvres.

“The material in this book constitutes a first in the literature on Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle. My conversations with Mugabe are striking because he is very relaxed, unguarded and unrestrained. He tells me what comes across as truthful and non-manipulative accounts and recollections.

“This is clearly so because, in some cases, the revelations are not charitable to him. In other instances, the information contradicts the official party line that he and his colleagues have vociferously pushed in public – ‘Oh, that is propaganda for the consumption of the unsophisticated and uninitiated’ as Mugabe derisively calls it! Indeed, the new insights about the struggle for independence in Zimbabwe are quite a treat.

“The book documents this gold mine of the never-before-revealed or published views and perspectives of Robert Mugabe – the political gladiator. He speaks from the grave.”

In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream is a series comprising three books based on my political interpretations, leadership opinions and philosophical disposition over 40 years, from 1983 to 2023, Prof Mutambara explains.

“The trilogy records my initiatives that sought to turn strategic thinking into reality through the speed of execution. Ostensibly, the work is the documentation of my participation in, and contributions to, thought leadership – intellectual influence through innovative and pioneering thinking.”

The trilogy asks the question: “what is going on?” – as the Zimbabwean Independence Dream, “characterised by peace, equality, stability, democracy, inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity, continues to elude us”.

Following the disappointment of the Robert Mugabe post-independence regime, the 2017 military coup which toppled the strongman “was greeted with euphoria, excitement and high expectations. There was so much goodwill inside and outside the country”.

However, the successor Emmerson Mnangagwa regime “rapidly squandered” the opportunity.

“This (Mnangagwa) administration has proven to be hopelessly and shamelessly incompetent, corrupt, authoritarian and directionless,” writes Prof Mutambara in the introduction to the third volume.

“At the core of this national tragedy is a government whose primary raison d’être is the feudal pursuit of the insatiable financial interests of Mnangagwa’s family and clan members; at the expense of national aspirations.”

Beyond Zimbabwe, Prof Mutambara also notes that equally elusive is “the ‘African Dream’ or the ‘Global South Dream’”.

“While the views are primarily in pursuit of a national ambition – the ‘Zimbabwean Dream’ – there is a robust Pan-African thread pervading all the thoughts, particularly in the later years, which include my invaluable tenure as Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” says Prof Mutambara.

“Hence, the material presented in the three books also lays the foundation for the ambitious vision of the United States of Africa – a peaceful, stable, united, integrated, democratic, technology-driven, industrial and economically prosperous continent providing all the requisite social amenities to its citizenry.” NewZimbabwe.com

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