A former army brigadier who quit Zimbabwe’s ruling party to protest the removal of former leader Robert Mugabe has formed a new political party.
Ambrose Mutinhiri, a veteran of the 1970s war against white minority rule, met Mugabe on Sunday before announcing he had formed an opposition party named the National Patriotic Front.
Mutinhiri resigned from parliament last week, citing the military intervention that pressured 94-year-old Mugabe into stepping down in November as his reason for cutting ties with the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Sources close to the former leader say he is bitter over his departure after 37 years in office and has given his support to the New Patriotic Front (NFP) party.
Mugabe’s policies are blamed by many for the decline of Zimbabwe from breadbasket to basket case, with unemployment above 80 percent, dilapidated public infrastructure and severe shortages of hard currency that spawned hyper-inflation.
Current president, Emerson Mnangagwa said in January Zimbabwe would hold transparent elections by July and he would respect the result if the opposition won – a pledge crucial to unlocking urgently needed financial assistance and repairing relations with Western powers and international financial institutions.