Oppah  Muchinguri

Oppah Muchinguri

Former Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development (2005-2009) and Manicaland Governor (2000-2003)

Date of Birth: 1958

Career: Private Secretary to the President, 1980-81; Deputy Minister of State for External Affairs, 1989-93; Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, 1993-97; Deputy Secretary General of the Government Party and later Party Secretary of Education and Deputy Secretary of Women's Affairs, 1993-97;  Minister of State in the President’s Office, 1997-2000; Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development, 2005-09.

Commentary: In Oppah Muchinguri, looks and luck have combined with political acuity to make her a formidable force in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s faction-fighting. Currently she is challenging Vice-President Joyce Mujuru for the leadership of the ZANU-PF Womens’ League. As an aide to Josiah Tongogara, the military commander of ZANU’s Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army in Mozambique, Oppah was a fellow passenger in the car crash which killed Tongogara on the eve of Independence in December 1979. Miraculously, she emerged unscathed.

In the late 1980s and 1990s she held several junior ministerial posts under her married name of Rushesha and became close to Robert Mugabe. Her marriage ended in the late 1990s in a messy divorce, and she reverted to her family name of Muchinguri.

Mugabe appointed her Governor of Manicaland (although the province voted overwhelmingly for the Movement for Democratic Change). She now works closely with Emmerson Mnangagwa. Their strategy is to dethrone Joyce Mujuru at the Women’s Congress in August and then seek her removal as party Vice-President at the full congress in December. They are believed to have the support of First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Mujuru will stoutly defend herself but the accusation that she works hand in glove with Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the Movement for Democratic Change will be given an additional twist by the fact that, whether by design or coincidence, she travelled on the plane returning Tsvangirai from his three-week international fundraising foray in June and so was greeted by the assembled MDC airport welcoming party (many of whom had skipped Mugabe’s hastily rescheduled cabinet meeting).

Meanwhile, Muchinguri has been despatched with Mnangagwa to Asia by Mugabe on a mission to raise funds and so upstage Tsvangirai’s modest US$300 million in humanitarian aid packages from the West. Tsvangirai’s announcement of China’s $950 mn. credit-line offer is now thought to refer to a facility mooted four years ago but recently resurrected.

Displaying 1-10 out of 18 results.

Vol 55 N0 17


Women and children first

Mutasa had earlier made another enemy when he tried to block Monica Mutsvangwa, wife of the Deputy Foreign Minister and close friend of the outgoing Women's League leader, Oppah Muchinguri, from the Central Committee...

Apart from finding a berth for Oppah Muchinguri, the Mnangagwa camp has made fewer promises that could be hostages to fortune, which makes cobbling together a coalition that much easier...

Vol 55 N0 16


Coup de Grace

ZANU-PF Women’s League is currently headed by a key Mnangagwa ally, Oppah Muchinguri, and the women’s congress has all the makings of an acrimonious battle that could rumble on until the December congress...

Vol 55 N0 12


The lesser weevils

Mutasa has other problems in holding the line in Manicaland: its former Governor and current Women's League leader, Oppah Muchinguri, who was once very close to Mugabe, has slipped into Mnangagwa's camp and is rumoured to fancy her chances of displacing Mujuru as Vice-President (AC Vol 50 No 24, Faint heart never beat stout lady in the ruling party)...

Vol 54 N0 23


ZANU-PF power struggles resume

The knives are out for Didymus Mutasa, the party’s Secretary for Administration, whose own province, Manicaland, also went to Mujuru despite both Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri supporting Mnangagwa...

Vol 54 N0 19


Mugabe shuffles the pack, again

Oppah Muchinguri, Mugabe’s old favourite, at Women’s Affairs...

Vol 51 N0 25


The wiles of a crocodile, the memory of an elephant

The National Women’s League leader, Oppah Muchinguri, is a staunch Mnangagwa-supporter...

Vol 51 N0 13


Diplomacy by other means

When the ANC moved to discipline Malema for advocating similar policies to Zimbabwe’s on land and black empowerment, a close Mugabe ally, Oppah Muchinguri, called on the ZANU-PF Politburo to show solidarity with him...

Vol 51 N0 3


The President ends his holiday

Oppah Muchinguri’s threat to challenge Joice Mujuru was stifled as was Manicaland Province’s challenge to rerun the election of party Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo (SKM)...

Vol 50 N0 24


Faint heart never beat stout lady in the ruling party

The Mnangagwa slate for the four-member Praesidium was Mugabe for First Secretary (President, at national level), Oppah Muchinguri and John Nkomo for Second Secretaries (national Vice-Presidents) and Kembo Mohadi for party Chairman...

Vol 50 N0 19


Women at war

Batons and chairs were swung as delegates backing Oppah Muchinguri tried to force their way into the hall...

Displaying 1-10 out of 18 results.