Get to know Emmerson Mnangagwa
The man poised to take over from former president Robert Mugabe, already being hailed as the ‘saviour of Zimbabwe’, has a somewhat checkered past. Who is Emmerson Mnangagwa?
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa (born 15 September 1942) is a Zimbabwean politician, who is due to be sworn in as President of Zimbabwe on 24 November 2017, after the resignation of Robert Mugabe following a military intervention, a removal that has however been recognized by the African Union as a legitimate expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people.
A longtime ally of former President Robert Mugabe and a senior member of the ruling ZANU–PF party, Mnangagwa served as Vice President of Zimbabwe from 2014 until his dismissal in November 2017, shortly before the November coup d’état against Mugabe. On 21 November 2017, Mugabe resigned, with the ZANU-PF chief whip telling news organisations that Mnangagwa would take over as president within 48 hours.
Mnangagwa was a leader during the Zimbabwean War of Liberation. After Zimbabwe was recognized in 1980, Mnangagwa held a series of senior cabinet positions under Mugabe, including as minister of state security during the Gukurahundi massacres in which thousands of Ndebele civilians were killed. Mnangagwa blamed the army for the massacres and continued to hold senior cabinet positions, though he is widely believed to be responsible.
After a demotion to Minister of Rural Housing in 2005, Mnangagwa restored his favour with Mugabe by playing a critical role in Mugabe retaining power by brokering a power sharing pact after the disputed general election in 2008. Mnangagwa served as Minister of Defence from 2009 to 2013, when he became Minister of Justice. Mnangagwa was also appointed Vice President in December 2014 and was widely considered to be a leading candidate to be Mugabe’s successor.
However, Mnangagwa was opposed by the Generation 40 faction led by President Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe. After being dismissed from his position by President Mugabe in November 2017 for allegedly plotting against the government, he fled to South Africa. General Constantino Chiwenga, his ally and chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, launched a coup d’état to end Mugabe’s purges of senior ZANU-PF officials. Mnangagwa was then considered the likely successor to Mugabe in any political resolution from the coup.
He is nicknamed “Garwe” which means “the crocodile” for the political resilience group he founded, and his faction in ZANU-PF is nicknamed Lacoste.
Source : Online