Latest news from the sudden transition of power suggests that Emmerson Mnangagwa who was fired 2 days before the military takeover is due to become Zim’s number one man.
Following his sack, the tough politician vowed to challenge Mugabe’s authoritarian leadership. After that he fled the country, saying his life was threatened.
Emmerson Mnangagwa is nicknamed the “crocodile” for his hardcore political personality.
The 75-year-old who has been one of Mugabe’s longest serving allies accused Mugabe of using the ruling party ZANU-PF as his private property.
It is not in doubt that the military takeover was influenced by the sack of the former VP.
General Constantino Chiwenga who has close ties with Mnangagwa, had earlier hinted that the military will respond to the disrespect of a war veteran.
Following the dramatic soft coup in Zimbabwe, observers believe that the deal is most probably for the VP who is currently out of the country to return and be restored as vice-president; and subsequently sworn in as acting president at a conference of the ZANU-PF scheduled for next month.
Emmerson Mnangagwa is not called the Crocodile for nothing. Take a look at the titan’s formidable profile.
1. Family History of Leadership
Born in the southwestern Zvishavana district on September 15, 1942, Mnangagwa seems to have leadership running in his bloodline.
His grandfather was a traditional leader. Likewise, his father was a political agitator who fought for black emancipation during the colonial rule. It is safe to say he took off from where his biological predecessors stopped.
2. Incarcerated For A Decade
Mnangagwa joined the struggle for independence from Britain. He was one of the young combatants trained in China and Egypt to strategise the war.
The “Crocodile” developed a pretty thick skin and strong political values at a very young age. A source revealed that Mnangagwa was the only surviving person from a radical group that caused the explosion of a train during the white minority rule. He was spared for being a minor (aged 16). Mnangagwa was detained and tortured for 10 years.
While in Prison he studied and even took some of his examinations there.
3. Expelled For Violent Political Activism
While studying law in school, his brilliance, political enthusiasm and leadership traits were not hidden.
In 1990, he and his accomplices were expelled from college for a violent political activism that led to the burning of some properties. He was a member and an executive of the UNIP student movement at the college.
4. The Libration War
While in prison, he met Robert Mugabe whom he would later closely assist in the 1970 war of independence. Emmerson Mnangagwa was described as the country’s spy-master during the 1980s civil conflict.
5. Ruthless Politician
Let’s say the Leopard never changes its spots.
Though he claims to now be a Christian, Mnangagwa is still the same old tough cookie he has always been.
He lost his place as the secretary of the ruling party in 2004 for openly and hardly canvassing for the office of the Vice President.
Historical reports till date still links him to the plotting and execution of the “Gukurahundi” massacre, an attack that annihilated opponents of the ruling party in the 80’s.
The massacre saw the deaths of thousands of civilians from the Ndebele ethnic group. Mnangagwa insists on having no involvement in the tragedy.
Being Mugabe’s ally, he has also been accused of manipulating electoral processes to suit Mugabe’s reign in 2008.
In 2015, Emmerson Mnangagwa had himself said this to Herald, the state newspaper,
“You know the trait of a crocodile, don’t you? It never hunts outside water.”
“It always goes into the water to catch its prey. It never goes in the villages or in the bush looking for food. It strikes at the appropriate time.”
As his right hand man for all these years, the former VP amassed a stunning amount of wealth. As a matter of fact, he is considered one of the richest men in Zimbabwe.
If Emmerson Mnangagwa is the best choice for Zim may not be the immediate question. The bright side of having him in the picture is that Robert Mugabe’s autocratic leadership has come to an end.