Educated locally, then at Kambule Intermediate School and Mongu Secondary School.
Mutti's first appointment to the newly formed Zambian government after independence on 24 October 1964, was as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Information Postal Services, serving under Lewis Changufu who was minister. In 1967 he was appointed ambassador to Ethiopia. In 1968 he briefly returned to Zambia to stand for a parliamentary seat in Livingstone in the 1968 presidential and general elections which he subsequently won.
The Livingstone seat had previously been held by Mainza Chona (UNIP) who in the 1964 general elections had won the seat by the election's lowest majority of 483. Fearful that the Livingstone seat would be lost to ANC, UNIP asked Mutti to stand for the Livingstone seat instead while Chona was sent to Mutti’s former Kaoma constituency which Mutti had comfortably won in 1964.
In 1969 he returned to Zambia from Ethiopia, to take up office as Minister of State for Rural Development. In April 1969, during his parliamentary maiden speech Mr Mutti caused an uproar in parliament when he called on Zambian Ministers to give up their luxury cars, claiming that Zambian Ministers were the highest paid in Africa.
He was heavily barracked by UNIP members during the course of his speech. The president intervened and reprimanded Mr Mutti for his "anti-UNIP attitude". He was asked to apologise and withdraw his remarks which Mr Mutti refused to do. A few days later he announced he was resigning as MP & Minister of State but Mr Mutti rescinded his decision after being asked to stay on by supporters in his constituency and other supporters.
Jethro Mutti was elected as a Member of the Central Committee (MCC) Zambia’s Second Republic which was inaugurated on 1 January 1973, with the adoption of a new constitution centred on a "one-party participatory democracy". Jethro was known for his opposition to the practice of a one party state politics which he challenged but was obliged to toe the line. In 1974 he was re-elected to the central committee but was increasingly unhappy about how the country was being run as a one party state and dictatorship intolerant of any opposition or differing opinions. In April 1975, he resigned from government and UNIP unhappy with how the country was being run.
On 19 September 1991, he wrote an open letter to President Kaunda published in the Weekly Post calling for the removal of UNIP political appointees from the country’s administrative arms as a prelude to the creation of a suitable atmosphere necessary for conducting free and fair multi-party elections. On 31 October 1991 the MMD party came into power with a landslide victory over UNIP and Kenneth Kaunda who had ruled Zambia since 1964.
In 1994 Jethro and his wife Masiliso moved to Mutti's home village near Kaoma to farm. Jethro and Masiliso lived on their farm in Kaoma until 2011 when Jethro's poor health forced the couple to return to Lusaka for treatment.
In 1960, he resigned from his job at PWD to join UNIP as a full-time party organiser in Mongu, Barotseland (now Western Province, Zambia). Mutti persuaded Sikota Wina to travel to Kalabo, Senanga and Mwandi where they held rallies gaining further support for UNIP and persuading the locals to buy UNIP cards. Some of the areas Mutti and Sikota travelled to were impassable by car due to floods, they abandoned the car they used for travelling and proceeded on foot to reach their destinations. The Northern Rhodesia colonial ruling authorities who were hostile to UNIP organisers in Barotseland attempted to have him "deported" from Barotseland but he defied the order.
In August 1961, Mr Mutti was beaten up by colonial police officers at Lusaka Police Station for his involvement with the campaign for constitutional change to bring in a majority African government. He sustained a ruptured ear drum but no action was taken against the police officer who had injured Mutti. One of his colleagues reportedly suffered a fractured skull. Mr Mutti subsequently brought a personal civil suit against the police officer but he was acquitted. Mutti was then charged with perjury and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He appealed and was released from prison after serving two weeks of the sentence.
He resumed work as an UNIP organiser in Mongu after the government ban against the party was lifted in 1962.
In January 1964, Northern Rhodesia saw its first majority black member parliament in the general elections; Mutti was elected MP for Mankoya (now Kaoma) representing UNIP. In May 1964 he was part of a delegation representing Zambia at the second OAU Summit in Cairo.
Dependable party man whose support in Barotseland is important for the balance in President Kaunda’s administration. Experienced as a political operator in conveying policies to people and winning their backing. A genial friendly figure at ease in company, having served as an ambassador and as a delegate on visits to many European as well as African countries.