Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri is a Zimbabwean politician and the current Minister of Water, Environment and Climate. She is the former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. Muchinguri is a member of the Zanu-PF party where she is a member of Central Committee and Politburo representing Manicaland Province. She is also a Member of Parliament for Mutasa Central Constituency.On the 15th of December 2017 she was appointed as the National Chairperson for the Zanu-PF party ,she became the first woman to assume that position.

Oppah Muchinguri
Oppah Muchinguri.jpeg
Oppah Muchinguri
Born Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri
December 14, 1958
Nationality Zimbabwe
Education University of Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.
  • Politician
  • Member of Parliament
Employer Government of Zimbabwe
Organization Ministry of Environment Water and Climate Change
Home town Manicaland
Political party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Spouse(s) Anthony Kashiri (m. 2015)
Tapiwa Rushesha (divorced 1990)
Children Tanya Rushesha, Natasha Rushesha

Contents

Background

She was born Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri on the 14th of December 1958, and was raised up in Mutasa District's Zongoro Area, in Manicaland Province in the then Rhodesia now Zimbabwe. Muchinguri was married to Tapiwa Rushesha and they divorced in the 1990s after having two children together who are Natasha Rushesha and Tanya Rushesha.[1] In 2015 Muchinguri announced her marriage to Bishop Anthony Kashiri. [2]

Education

Oppah did her Primary School at St James Zongoro, an Anglican Institution. She graduated with a Master of Science degree in International Relations from the University of Zimbabwe in 2013.[3]

Political career

Oppah received her military training in Mozambique and later joined the liberation war of the Second Chimurenga fighting in the Josiah Tongogara- commanded Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA).[4]

At independence, she was appointed as Private Secretary to the President between 1980 and 1981. She was Deputy Minister twice, first of State for External Affairs between 1989 and 1993 and of Environment and Tourism between 1993 and 1997. Her first ministerial post came in 1997 when she was appointed Minister of State in the President’s Office, a post she held until 2000. Muchinguri was appointed Minister of Women's Affairs , Gender and Community Development in 2005.[5]

Positions Held

Invovement in Zanu-PF Factionalism 2009 to 2017

Push To Replace Mujuru - 2009 to 2017

In 2009, it was reported that the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction was to push for the election of Muchinguri as vice-president of the party to replace Mujuru who was accused of working with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T. .[7]

In 2014 when Joice Mujuru was Vice President it was reported again that the Mnangagwa camp was strategizing on how Mujuru could be challenged and Muchinguri would take over. The media reported that there were moves to push Women Affairs minister, Oppah Muchinguri to challenge Mujuru at the Congress so that they take her out of the succession race and pave way for the strategic positioning of Mnangagwa to ultimately take over the reins when the time comes.[8]

Muchinguri, however, dismissed the reports as baseless fabrications created by individuals with an agenda to divide Zanu-PF.

“In Zanu PF, we don’t work like that. We have clear rules and regulations and established structures in place,” said Muchinguri. [8]

In October 2017 the team Lacoste Faction was reportedly backing Muchinguri for vice presidency in the event that Mnangagwa did not succeed.[9]Lacoste Manoeuvring To Have Oppah Muchinguri Nominated For Female Vice President

Support of War Vets -2011

In 2011 Muchinguri threatened to expose Zanu-PF officials who do not appreciate the sacrifice the War Veterans made and how hard it was for them to liberate the country. Muchinguri reportedly said Zanu-PF was infiltrated by crooks who were abusing their positions to amass wealth through corruption and underhand dealings and that she was not afraid to expose them despite being in top positions.[10] </blockquote>

Alleged ties to Emmerson Mnangagwa

Muchinguri has been generally viewed as a Mugabe loyalist and also closely linked to Emmerson Mnangagwa and Jonathan Moyo. In 2013 battle for succession for Presidency between Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who both denied that they harbour presidential ambitions at that time, reportedly spilt over to Zanu PF’s provincial structures. Muchinguri was one of the members accused of causing divisions and belonging to the Mnangagwa camp in Manicaland.[11]

After Mnangagwa was dismissed in early November 2017 by Robert Mugabe, Muchinguri was largely accused of being the 'godmother' of team Lacoste and being an accomplice to remove Mugabe from presidency.[12]

Stepping Down As Secretary of Women's League - 2014

Muchinguri made headlines in 2014 when she stepped down from her position as the Secretary of the Women's League in the Zanu-PF party. The stepping down was received as a calculated move to bring Grace Mugabe into the mainstream Zimbabwean political arena. However, in November 2017 Muchinguri revealed that she had been forced to resign from her position,

It’s unfair to say I handed it over. I was pushed to surrender that position. Grudgingly, I surrendered that position because some women approached me to say I should give it up for the first lady. I don’t know what benefits they were looking for, so I had to do so reluctantly.

[13]

Appointment in Cabinet - 2014

During the period of the Zanu- PF People’s Congress in 2014 Oppah Muchinguri and Grace Mugabe went on a crusade denouncing what they called divisive elements in the Zanu- PF party. Muchinguri together with Grace Mugabe openly accused the then vice president Joice Mujuru of fanning factionalism in the party and also plotting to unseat Robert Mugabe. Soon after, Muchinguri was one of the people appointed by Robert Mugabe in the cabinet reshuffle later that year. The appointment came after the Zanu- PF congress which also saw the demotion of some senior members and cabinet ministers. Muchinguri was given the post of Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education which was previously led by Olivia Muchena who was dismissed on allegations of factionalism.[14]

Trivia

The late musician Simon Chimbetu sang a song titled Oppah which talks about his love for such a woman, was widely believed to be dedicated to Muchinguri. Muchinguri was passenger in a car crash that killed Tongorara on the eve of independence in December 1979 and it was reported the two were in a romantic relationship.[15]

Picture Gallery



References

  1. Oppah Muchinguri finds new love, Nehanda Radio, Published: May 14, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  2. finds new love , , Published: 24 January 2015 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  3. OPPAH MUCHINGURI GRADUATES FROM UZ, NewsDzeZimbabwe, Published: September 14, 2013, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  4. Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 9, 2014
  5. Dumisani Muleya, Zanu PF factions bug each other’s hotel rooms Nehanda Radio, Published: December 9, 2011, Retrieved: July 9, 2014,
  6. , Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Published:January 5, 2014, Retrieved:15 Dec 14
  7. Muchinguri to Challenge Mujuru for VP’s Post, , Published: 11 June 2009 , Retrieved: 27 November 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 VP post: Mujuru faces challenge, , Published:25 May 2014 , Retrieved: 27 November 2017
  9. Team Lacoste Hatches Plan B, , Published: 22 October 2017 , Retrieved: 27 November 2017
  10. says Zanu full of crooks, , Published: DATE_5 February 2011 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  11. vows to deal with Mnangagwa loyalists in Manicaland , , Published: 23 August 2013 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  12. Knives out for Muchinguri , , Published:7 November 2017, Retrieved:27 November 2017
  13. Muchinguri spills the beans on Grace Mugabe , , Published: 26 November 2017 , Retrieved:27 November 2017
  14. L Mataire Mujuru Betrayed Our Trust, The Herald, Published:13 December 14, Retrieved:15 December 14
  15. Oppah Muchinguri, Africa Confidential, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 9, 2014