Re: What do you do?

Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara, a Zimbabwean political figure and scholar has served as the President of a faction of the Movement for Democratic Change since February 2006, a position previously held by secretary general Welshman Ncube. The Movement for Democratic Change split in 2005 after a dispute over whether or not to participate in Zimbabwean parliamentary election. Born May 25, 1966, Mutambara was a strong voice in the Zimbabwean student movement in 1988 and 1989, leading anti-government protests at the University of Zimbabwe, which led to his eventual arrest and detention. He continued his education as a Rhodes scholar at Merton College, Oxford in the United Kingdom, obtaining a Ph.D. in Robotics and Mechatronics. In his field he had taught at a number of universities in the United States including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has published three books on engineering including: Design and Analysis of Control Systems, Decentralized Estimation, and Control for Multisensor Systems and Mechatronics and Robotics. Additionally, he has served as a professor of Business Strategy and as a consultant for the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Since September 2003 he has worked as the Managing Director and CEO of Africa Technology and Business Institute.

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TRANSCRIPT

I’m a soldier for social justice. I’m a soldier for freedom. Whatever I am, I’m actually about rights. I’m about economic rights. I’m about social justice. So I view myself as a freedom fighter – a soldier for social justice.Well I think that’s for other people to say; but my motivation is to work in this world to create conditions where the majority of the people of the world have better conditions of existence – whether they be in America; whether they be in Europe; whether they be in Zimbabwe; whether they be in Africa. My motivation – my drive – is to make this world a better place, in particular around basic things like freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom from poverty and economic rights.Right now I’m involved in the struggle in Zimbabwe. The major problem in Zimbabwe is around two issues. Number one, political illegitimacy. What’s happening in Zimbabwe is that those who are running our country have been so without the consent of the government. They are in power because they stole elections. They were involved in fraudulent elections. Political illegitimacy is the number one challenge. The second challenge is around poor economic governance, which has led to a complete failure in the economic management of our country, to the extent that we’re talking about 85% unemployment in our country; 95% poverty levels in the country. Inflation numbers – official numbers of inflation – 5,000%. The actual number? Fifteen thousand percent. Life expectancy in our country? Thirty five years. And every week 4,000 people are dying because of HIV/AIDS and malnutrition in our country. If we don’t get food assistance this year, four million people might die of starvation. Those are the challenges I am grappling with in my country to say why can’t we have a legitimate government that is elected by people through a free and fair election? Why can’t we have economic programs, economic solutions that will make Zimbabwe a globally competitive economy and not a basket case where we are today? Those are the issues I am grappling with at the moment as a leader – one of the leaders – in the Opposition in Zimbabwe.Right now I’m involved in the struggle in Zimbabwe. The major problem in Zimbabwe is around two issues. Number one, political illegitimacy. What’s happening in Zimbabwe is that those who are running our country have been so without the consent of the government. They are in power because they stole elections. They were involved in fraudulent elections. Political illegitimacy is the number one challenge. The second challenge is around poor economic governance, which has led to a complete failure in the economic management of our country, to the extent that we’re talking about 85% unemployment in our country; 95% poverty levels in the country. Inflation numbers – official numbers of inflation – 5,000%. The actual number? Fifteen thousand percent. Life expectancy in our country? Thirty five years. And every week 4,000 people are dying because of HIV/AIDS and malnutrition in our country. If we don’t get food assistance this year, four million people might die of starvation. Those are the challenges I am grappling with in my country to say why can’t we have a legitimate government that is elected by people through a free and fair election? Why can’t we have economic programs, economic solutions that will make Zimbabwe a globally competitive economy and not a basket case where we are today? Those are the issues I am grappling with at the moment as a leader – one of the leaders – in the Opposition in Zimbabwe. Recorded On: 7/5/07

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