Obert Mpofu

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The Right Honourable
Obert Mpofu
MP
Minister of Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe
Incumbent
Assumed office
13 February 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Minister of Industry and International Trade
In office
April 2005 – 13 February 2009
President Robert Mugabe
Succeeded by Welshman Ncube
Governor of Matabeleland North
In office
2002–2005
Personal details
Born (1951-10-12) 12 October 1951 (age 63)
Southern Rhodesia
Political party Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front
Children Bukhosie mkhokheli

Obert Moses Mpofu is a Zimbabwean politician, currently serving as Minister of Mines. Previously he was Minister of Industry and International Trade.

Political career[edit]

Mpofu, previously the Governor of Matabeleland North Province, was appointed as Minister of Industry and International Trade in mid-April 2005, following the March 2005 parliamentary election.[1]

At the beginning of 2014, Mpofu was reported to be seeking nomination from Zanu-PF’s Matabeleland North provincial leadership for the position of party Chairman. It was reported that his main rival for the position was the Speaker of the Zimbabwean Parliament, Jacob Mudenda. It is believed that Mpofu was one of the earliest ZPRA guerillas to be trained for the Zimbabwean Liberation War way back in the 1960s. [2]

Ministry of Industry & Trade[edit]

Mpofu masterminded the freeze of basic commodities in Zimbabwe in mid-2007. He was appointed by Robert Mugabe to lead the price monitoring regime that was created following the price-freeze.[3] He withdrew operating licenses from abattoirs across the country during the price freeze, a situation that resulted in beef becoming scarce in shops across the country. In early 2008, he initiated the idea of 'people's shops' government run retail shops that would sell products at cheap prices.

Sino-Zimbabwe trade[edit]

Mpofu was at the forefront encouraging trade between Zimbabwe and China, as part of the government's Look-East policy. At one time, Gao Hucheng, Chinese vice-minister for commerce, after meeting with Mpofu claimed: "Chinese goods had been well received by Zimbabweans and that his government would continue to promote trade between the two countries as this had also improved the lives of people."

2008 general election[edit]

Obert Mpofu has been nominated again as the ZANU-PF candidate for the House of Assembly seat from Umguza constituency in the March 2008 parliamentary election.[4] Mpofu was initially endorsed as unopposed, but Mark Mbayiwa challenged this in court and was successful in getting Mpofu's unopposed endorsement overturned.[5]

Campaigning in Umguza, Mpofu singled out Simba Makoni as an agent of western imperialism. .[6]

Mpofu won the seat, receiving 7,065 votes and defeating two candidates of the two Movement for Democratic Change factions, Cornelius Mbayiwa (MDC-T) and Edmund Masuku (MDC-M), who respectively received 2,846 and 2,120 votes. He also defeated Mark Mbayiwa, who ran as an independent and received 555 votes.[7]

When the ZANU-PF–MDC national unity government was sworn in on 13 February 2009, Mpofu became Minister of Mines.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MP's sworn in, new ministers appointed", SADOCC, 16 April 2005.
  2. ^ "Zanu PF bigwigs jostle for chairmanship". Zimbabwe Situation. January 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ ZDU [1](accessed 02/10/2008)
  4. ^ "Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Names Poll Candidates", The Herald (allAfrica.com), 15 February 2008.
  5. ^ Kholwani Nyathi, "High Court blocks Mpofu re-election", The Standard (Zimbabwe), accessed 10 February 2008.
  6. ^ Thousands urged to vote ZANU-PF [2](accessed 26 February 2008)
  7. ^ "Zimbabwe election results 2008", Newzimbabwe.com, 2 April 2008.
  8. ^ "Cabinet sworn in amid chaotic scenes", Newzimbabwe.com, 13 February 2009.