I formed this party after I met former president Mugabe Soon after the military intervention

HARARE: National Patriotic Front (NPF) leader Mr Ambrose Mutinhiri yesterday said former president Robert Mugabe had egged him to form the fledgling political outfit as he believed that his military background put him in good stead to challenge the new political administration.

Addressing the party’s consultative meeting in Harare yesterday, Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mutinhiri said the party’s national spokesperson, Mr Jealousy Mawarire, was an insignificant and unknown political figure, while Eunice Sandi Moyo had no political clout.

At a press conference on Friday, NPF spokesperson Mr Jealousy Mawarire announced that the party had decided to replace Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mutinhiri with Mrs Eunice Sandi Moyo, adding that the party will sign an agreement with the MDC Alliance this week.

Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mutinhiri said: “I formed this party after I met former president Mugabe. Soon after the military intervention, I told him that I did not agree with how the soldiers had used the gun to take power. He also told me that he did not agree with it. He said to me you are the right person who should lead the party. He said you are the first person whom I have seen to have the right credentials. You have the right credentials to challenge these men who took power because they know you.

“He said to me, you were their commander and they will listen to you if you speak, even the whole country knows you. Uri munhu akatswakatuka semu Zimbabwean, asina corruption, enda unoita basa. This is what he said to me and soon after, I formed this party,” he said.

Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mutinhiri said NPF will not join the MDC Alliance, and laughed off his purported dismissal from the party.

“As your president, my position is that I am not joining the MDC Alliance. Some who were part of us jumped the gun and proceeded to announce that they had joined the Alliance. I did not agree with that and it did not come from the people. If they want to join the Alliance, they should do so on their own accord and not on behalf of the party,” he said.

NPF, he added, will go it alone in next month’s polls, with aspiring candidates for parliamentary and council seats to be finalised by Tuesday, in time for the nomination court that sits two days later.

He fired a salvo at Mrs Sandi Moyo and Mawarire, saying they could not fire him from the party he had formed.

“I did not even know who Mawarire was. He came to me requesting to join the party and we made him spokesperson after he had spoken about his experience in journalism.

“Sandi Moyo has no political clout to write home about. I know for certain that for 38 years she never won an election.”

On Friday, NPF national political commissar Mr Jimmy Kunaka said former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe secretly funded the Sandi Moyo faction as part of her plot to angle for the vice presidency in the MDC Alliance. state media