A Zimbabwean political party which was said to be backed by ousted president Robert Mugabe has reportedly been disbanded, with its leaders saying they were now rejoining the ruling Zanu-PF party.

The National Patriotic Front (NPF) party was formed by a former army brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, who quit Zanu-PF to protest the removal of Mugabe last November.

Mutinhiri, a veteran of the 1970s war against white minority rule, met Mugabe before announcing he had formed the opposition party in May.

Mutinhiri had resigned from parliament in March, citing the military intervention that pressured 94-year-old Mugabe into stepping down in November as his reason for cutting ties with the Zanu-PF party.

But, according to the state owned Herald newspaper, Mutinhiri announced announced last week that he was now re-joining his former party and shutting down the NPF.

In a statement, he said that the party had outlived its purpose after it had been formed in response to Mugabe’s ousting.

Threat to national security and stability

“We the founders, leaders and supporters of the NPF hereby inform the nation of Zimbabwe that the NPF has disbanded with immediate effect from September 19, 2018. The main reason for disbanding is that NPF has outlived its purpose. NPF was formed as a response to the events and circumstances of November 2017 that led to the removal of the previous government of Zimbabwe and in our opinion we perceived it to be a threat to national security and stability,” Mutinhiri was quoted as saying.

This came a week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly instructed his ruling Zanu-PF party to mend relations with former party stalwarts who were axed by Mugabe four years ago.

According to Daily News, the former Zanu-PF cadres, who were likely to be invited back into the party were former vice president Joice Mujuru, and several other liberation veterans who included Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo.

Zanu-PF’s secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu confirmed the reports, saying the plans were now at an advanced staged.