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Arthur Mutambara

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Arthur Mutambara
Institute for the Future of Knowledge (University of Johannesburg)
Assumed office
Personal details
Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara

(25 May 1966 age 57)
Alma materUniversity of Zimbabwe
Merton College, Oxford
OccupationFull professor

Professor Arthur G.O. Mutambara is a multifaceted leader, academic, and technology expert currently serving as the Director and Full Professor of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (IFK) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in South Africa.[1] Renowned for his expertise in robotics, academia, Pan-Africanism, and technology strategy, he is a pivotal figure in shaping the future of knowledge and technological advancement.[2] At IFK, Professor Mutambara leads the Decentralized Artificial Intelligence and Control Systems (DAICS) Research Group, driving groundbreaking research initiatives.[3] He also spearheads the African Agency in Public Health (AAPH) initiative within the Future of Health (FoH) Research Group, demonstrating his commitment to leveraging technology for societal well-being.[4] In addition to his academic responsibilities, Professor Mutambara is deeply involved in teaching Control Systems at both UJ's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Electronic Engineering Departments, imparting knowledge and fostering innovation among students.[5]

Early activism[edit]

Prior to his academic pursuits, Professor Mutambara held significant political roles, including serving as the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.[6] Throughout his tenure, he played a central role in establishing and guiding the Government of National Unity (GNU), serving as one of its three Principals alongside the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the late former President Robert Mugabe from 2009 to 2013.[7] As Deputy Prime Minister, his responsibilities encompassed vital tasks such as advising the Prime Minister on policy formulation within the Cabinet and overseeing policy implementation through the Council of Ministers. Additionally, he provided direct supervision to ministries under the Infrastructure Cluster, which included pivotal sectors like Energy and Power Development, Transport and Infrastructure, Information Communication Technologies, Water Resources and Development, and Public Works. Professor Mutambara facilitated collaborative regional policy efforts within these domains across SADC and COMESA.[8] Furthermore, in his capacity, he spearheaded three significant national initiatives for the GNU: crafting a Shared National Vision, executing the Rebranding of Zimbabwe campaign, and crafting a comprehensive National Infrastructure Master Plan.[9] A distinguished public intellectual, Professor Mutambara's influence extends globally, with engagements ranging from presentations on leadership, management, engineering and business to motivational speeches and seminars.[10] In the United States, Mutambara was a Research Scientist at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Visiting Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, and a Professor at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University – Florida State University (FAMU-FSU) College of Engineering.[11][12] In his academic research and teaching, he has received outstanding reviews and praise from students and peers worldwide. Professor Mutambara was also a Management Consultant with McKinsey & Company in Chicago and the Director of Electronic Payments at Standard Bank in South Africa.

Professor Mutambara's contributions to the field of engineering and technology are widely recognized, evidenced by his numerous accolades and memberships in esteemed professional organizations. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE), a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS), and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).[13]

Scholarly output[edit]

Prof. Mutambara is an esteemed and highly productive author, having penned six books spanning various disciplines. Among these, he has contributed three significant works in electrical engineering, which are widely employed in both undergraduate and graduate engineering programs across the United States, Europe, China, Japan, and Africa. [14]These influential texts include "Decentralized Estimation and Control for Multisensor Systems" (1998), "Design and Analysis of Control Systems" (1999), and "Driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR): Design and Analysis of Control Systems" (2024).

Beyond his contributions to engineering literature, Prof. Mutambara has authored three additional books focusing on Thought Leadership. These volumes delve into diverse topics, starting with "In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream Volume I: The Formative Years and the Big Wide World (1983–2002)."[15] The series continues with "Volume II: The Path to Power (2003–2009)" and concludes with "Volume III: Ideas & Solutions: Deputy Prime Minister and Beyond (2009–2023)."[16][17]

Movement for Democratic Change[edit]

In 2005 the MDC split into two factions following a dispute over whether or not to participate in the March 2005 senatorial election. While MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mutambara, and others opposed participation, Welshman Ncube and Gibson Sibanda led a faction that favored participation.[18] Those supporting the senate elections won narrowly against the leader Morgan Tsvangirai's vote. Tsvangirai later overruled and overturned the decision of the plebiscite citing two absent members had sent in postal votes that canceled the slender margin.[19]

In February 2006 at a Congress of the breakaway faction Movement for Democratic Change, Mutambara was elected as president of the party. Commenting on the election, Mutambara said, "My position was that the MDC should have boycotted those Senate elections. I guess then that makes me the anti-Senate leader of the pro-Senate MDC faction. How ridiculous can we get? That debate is now in the past, let us move on and unite our people."[18]

The choice of Mutambara as leader was said to have been inspired by the fact that he is a Shona whereas Sibanda and Ncube are both Ndebele, but realised that only a Shona candidate could win an election across the whole of Zimbabwe. Mutambara is not a member of the House of Assembly.

The faction led by Tsvangirai described Mutambara's election as a nullity. In his MDC faction presidential acceptance speech,[20] Mutambara stated, "We believe that our views on land reform in Zimbabwe are different from those of Western governments. Our approach is not driven by the interests of white farmers, but by those of all Zimbabweans, white and black. While we put the failure of the land reform program squarely on the ZANU–PF government, we also acknowledge the complicity of some Western governments which reneged on agreements, and the inertia of white farmers in seeking pre-emptive solutions." However, David Karimanzira, a leading member of the ZANU–PF, alleged that Mutambara was promoted by the West after Western governments decided not to continue backing Morgan Tsvangirai because the Zimbabwean people had allegedly rejected his party manifesto. He once called the African Union a "club of dictators".[21]

Mutambara was arrested by the Zimbabwe police on 19 May 2006 while leading a march in support of his faction's candidate on the eve of the Budiriro by-election. He was also arrested on 11 March together with other MDC leaders from the other faction. He was released without charge two days later, only to be re-arrested on 18 March at Harare Airport en route to South Africa, where his family is still based, and where he is also a leading consultant. He was also released without charge after three days in custody.

2008 presidential election[edit]

After Mutambara and Tsvangirai failed to unite on a single MDC candidate for the March 2008 presidential election, Mutambara said on 15 February that he would not run for president and that his faction would instead back Simba Makoni.[22] Mutambara instead ran in the concurrent parliamentary election for a seat from the Zengeza East constituency, but he was placed third, with 1,322 votes, according to official results, behind the candidate of the Tsvangirai faction, who won 7,570 votes, and the ZANU–PF candidate, who won 3,042 votes.[23]

The Tsvangirai faction won 99 seats in the parliamentary election and the Mutambara faction won 10, compared with 97 for ZANU–PF.[24] On 28 April 2008, Mutambara and Tsvangirai announced that their factions were reuniting, thus enabling the MDC to have a clear parliamentary majority.[25]

On 1 June 2008, Mutambara was arrested at his home in Harare. According to his lawyer, the arrest was due to an article he wrote in The Standard in April, which allegedly included "falsehoods" and "contempt of court". In this article, he blamed Mugabe for the state of the economy and accused the security forces of committing abuses.[26] On 3 June, Mutambara was released on a bail of 20 million Zimbabwean dollars but he did not go to jail, with the next court date being set for 17 June. After the hearing on 3 June, he described his own suffering as minor compared to that of the people, saying that Mugabe's "human rights violations" would fail and vowing, "We will triumph over evil."[27]

SADC facilitated power-sharing agreement[edit]

On 15 September 2008, the leaders of the 14-member Southern African Development Community witnessed the signing of a power-sharing agreement between the two MDC factions and ZANU-PF. Under the deal, Mugabe remained president, Tsvangirai became prime minister,[28] the MDC controlled the police, ZANU-PF controlled the Army, and Mutambara became deputy prime minister.[29][30]

Notable Speech[edit]

On his visit to South Africa during a book launch in the month of June, 2023. Mutambara gave prominence to his democratic advocacies', by boldy, insinuating that "Africa needs new leadership" during an oration.[31][32]


  1. ^ "People - UJ Institute for the Future of Knowledge". futureofknowledge.org. 22 July 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  2. ^ "Arthur Mutambara Biography | Booking Info for Speaking Engagements". www.allamericanspeakers.com. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Decentralised Artificial Intelligence and Control Systems (DAICS) - UJ Institute for the Future of Knowledge". futureofknowledge.org. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  4. ^ "The Future of Health - UJ Institute for the Future of Knowledge". futureofknowledge.org. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Prof Arthur Mutambara". University of Johannesburg. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  6. ^ "Arthur G. O. Mutambara | MIT MLK Visiting Scholars & Professors Program". mlkscholars.mit.edu. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  7. ^ Mpofu, William (8 January 2024). "The Zimbabwean Nightmare and Tragic Optimism of Mutambara". Wikipedia. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  8. ^ "SADC ministers to meet over Zim recovery plan | SAnews". www.sanews.gov.za. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  9. ^ "Kubatana - Archive - Address by Prof. Arthur G.O. Mutambara at the ZITF International Business Conference on the significance of building a new value system for sustainable development in the future of Zimbabwe - Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara - Apr 28, 2013". archive.kubatana.net. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  10. ^ "Speakers ⇽ SAIIE33 Annual Conference | Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering (SAIIE)". Glue Up. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  11. ^ "Is Mutambara His Own Man?". TMCNETNEWS. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  12. ^ "Arthur Mutambara - African Leadership Programme South Africa". Africa Leadership Initiative. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  13. ^ "Arthur Mutambara Biography | Booking Info for Speaking Engagements". www.allamericanspeakers.com. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  14. ^ "Arthur G. O. Mutambara: books, biography, latest update". Amazon.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Arthur G. O. Mutambara: books, biography, latest update". Amazon.co.uk.
  16. ^ "Arthur G. O. Mutambara: books, biography, latest update". Amazon.co.uk.
  17. ^ "Arthur G. O. Mutambara: books, biography, latest update". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  18. ^ a b Zimbabwe's 'outsider' faction leader Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine BBC News
  19. ^ "Zimbabwe Opposition: Mugabe's Price Cuts Mask Deeper Economic Problems". VOA News. 15 July 2007. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  20. ^ MDC faction presidential acceptance speech Archived 27 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Communist University of Johannesburg
  21. ^ Zimbabwe: Era of Puppet Politics Over Archived 13 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine AllAfrica
  22. ^ Fikile Mapala, "Mutambara withdraws from race, backs Makoni" Archived 1 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine, newzimbabwe.com, 15 February 2008.
  23. ^ Results page for Zengeza East Archived 4 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine at sokwanele.com.
  24. ^ "Zanu-PF, MDC-T in photo finish" Archived 2 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, The Herald (allAfrica.com), 3 April 2008.
  25. ^ "Opposition reunites in Zimbabwe" Archived 14 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 28 April 2008.
  26. ^ Godfrey Marawanyika, "Top Zim opposition figure arrested" [dead link], Sapa-AFP (IOL), 1 June 2008.
  27. ^ "Top Zim opposition figure freed" [dead link], AFP (IOL), 3 June 2008.
  28. ^ edition.cnn.com, Rivals sign Zimbabwe power-share deal Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ timesonline.co.uk, Power-sharing deal signed in Zimbabwe Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ www.msnbc.msn, Zimbabwe power-sharing deal signed
  31. ^ Malesele, Thabiso (9 June 2023). "Professor Mutambara says African continent needs new leadership". SABC News. Archived from the original on 9 June 2023. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  32. ^ Staff Reporter (13 May 2023). "Mutambara finishes a third volume of his new enlightening autobiography series". Bulawayo 24 News. Archived from the original on 13 May 2023. Retrieved 14 November 2023.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New political party
Party split between MDC and MDC-T
Leader of the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara