Here Is Why Zimbabwe’s Former Deputy PM Prof. Arthur Mutambara Landed A Top Post At The University Of Johannesburg (UJ)

Here Is Why Zimbabwe’s Former Deputy PM Prof. Arthur Mutambara Landed A Top Post At The University Of Johannesburg (UJ)

In 2021, the University of Johannesburg appointed accomplished academic and former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Prof. Arthur Mutambara as the Executive Director and full professor at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (IFK).

His appointment was welcomed with rave reviews, considering the politician’s deep bank of engineering and physics knowledge.

Here is a brief biography detailing why the University of Johannesburg (UJ) bagged a genius.

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Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara attended the University of Zimbabwe for a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Elect. Eng, Electrical and Electronics Engineering from 1987 to 1988.

In 1991, he won a Rhodes scholarship and enrolled at the University of Oxford, where he graduated with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree in 1992.

Prof Arthur Mutambara UJ
Prof Arthur Mutambara, UJ Executive Director: Institute for the Future of Knowledge [Image: Zimbabwe News Live]

The book-savvy Mutambara decided not to rest and pursued doctoral studies that same year at 26.

In 1995, he graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering degree from


In 2000, Prof Mutambara joined McKinsey & Company in the United States as a Management Consultant. While there, he was also a Professor of Business Strategy at Kellogg Business School until 2002. He was also a professor of Operations Management at the University of South Africa’s School of Business Leadership.

From March 2002 to September 2003, Mutambara was the Standard Bank Director of Payments.

Political Career

Mutambara was president of the Student Representative Council of the University of Zimbabwe in 1988 and 1989. He led anti-government protests at the University of Zimbabwe, which led to his arrest and imprisonment.

In 1999, he was one of the founding members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition since attaining independence.

In 2005, the MDC split into two factions following a dispute over whether or not to participate in the March 2005 senatorial election.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mutambara, and others opposed participation, while Welshman Ncube and Gibson Sibanda led a faction that favoured participation.

Those supporting the senate elections won narrowly against the leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s vote, and Tsvangirai later overruled and overturned the referendum’s decision.

This did not go down well with Mutambara, and in February 2006, at a Congress of the breakaway Movement for Democratic Change faction, he was elected president of the party.

In Zimbabwe’s 2008 election, the Tsvangirai faction won 99 seats in parliament while the Mutambara faction won 10, compared with 97 for ZANU–PF. On 28 April 2008, Mutambara and Tsvangirai reunited, and the MDC had a parliamentary majority.

Because of a tightly contested Presidential election, the election body in Zimbabwe called for a run-off. The campaign period before 27 June 2002 was bloody, and the MDC boycotted the election run-off. Late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe won the one-man race.

Prof Arthur Mutambara UJ
Prof Arthur Mutambara [Left], UJ Executive Director: Institute for the Future of Knowledge [Image: Daily News]

Under a September 2008 SADC-brokered power-sharing agreement, Mutambara became Deputy Prime Minister on 11 February 2009 until 2013.


In 2013, Prof. Mutambara was appointed Strategy and Technology Consultant by the Global Management and Technology Consultants.

Three years later, he became President of the Africa News Agency, Africa’s first syndicated, technology-driven, digital platform-enabled multimedia news service. His role included media technology innovation, digital platform development, harnessing social media tools, and the development of strategic relationships and partnerships across the African continent.

In 2021, the University of Johannesburg appointed him as Executive Director and full professor at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (IFK).

Prof Arthur Mutambara UJ
UJ Prof Arthur Mutambara with gormer SA President Kgalema Motlanthe. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

The institute “is a transdisciplinary ecosystem devoted to understanding the relationship between what we know and what will happen, for the purpose of improving both, for everyone.”

To date, Prof. Mutambara has published five books.

Formerly, Prof. Mutambara was a Research Scientist and Professor of Robotics and Mechatronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), FAMU-FSU, and NASA.

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