President elect Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has been on almost every paper in Zimbabwe and Africa at large for both the good and the bad deeds. So here is what we know so far!


Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a politician and the First Secretary of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu- PF). He is the President elect of Zimbabwe. On 3 August 2018 ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba announced that Mnangagwa had won the popular vote by 50.8% making him duly elected to be the president of Zimbabwe as of 03 August 2018.

He is former Vice President of Zimbabwe and was dismissed on the 5th of November 2017. He had been removed from his post as Minister of Justice and replaced by Happyton Bonyongwe a month earlier. A few days after his dismissal as Vice President, Mnangagwa, was expelled from Zanu-PF Party only to be reinstated by the Central Committee on the 19th of November 2017 as party leader and state-president-in-waiting.Central Committee Meeting Outcome:2017 .He was sworn in on the 24th of November 2017 as Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.


ED attends CEO Africa Round Table

Mnangagwa was born on the 15th of September 1942 to mother Mhurai and father Mafidhi Mnangagwa. He was born in a family of 6 in colonial Rhodesia , present-day Zvishavane in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. He is married to Auxilia Mnangagwa who is currently M.P for Chirumhanzu Zibagwe Parliamentary Seat Midlands Province. Auxillia is Mnangagwa’s’ third wife and together they have three children namely Emmerson Junior, Collin and Sean. He also has other children, Emmerson Mnangagwa Junior and Samora Samuel.



He did his early primary education in Zvishavane in the Midlands Province, before his family relocated to Zambia in 1955, where he attended Mumbwa Boarding School, Kafue Trade School and Hodgson Technical College. He was expelled from college in 1960 for political activism and joined the Zambia United National Independent Party.

Political Career

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on after delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Harare, Zimbabwe, December 20, 2017.

He joined politics at a very tender age after being recruited into the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) by Willie Musarurwa in 1962. He then went to China and later Egypt where he received his military training in 1963. During his early days as a political activist he was nick-named “Ngwena” due to his crocodile style in sabotage activities against the colonial government. It was reported that he was part of the Crocodile Gang, an elite group of guerrilla fighters during Zimbabwe’s war of independence from white race minority rule which carried out massive sabotage activities against the colonial government.

When he came back from China, he was reported to have fought the liberation struggle against the Ian Smith regime. He is believed to have been a victim of the regime’s brutality when he was arrested and tortured in 1965 after allegedly helping blow up a train near Fort Victoria (now Masvingo) He was reportedly given a death sentence but eventually spent the following ten years in prison. The torture was reported to have been so severe that he lost the sense of hearing in one ear and also made him unconscious for days.

Emmerson Mnangagwa Timeline

An official puts up a portrait of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the swearing in ceremony of cabinet ministers at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

1977 – Mnangagwa was elected as special assistant to the President and a member of the National Executive for Zanu -PF, a position which meant he was head of both the civil and military divisions of the party.
1980 – At independence, he became Minister of State Security from 1980 to 1988.
1985-2000 –He was elected as Kwekwe East Member of Parliament in 1985 and continued to win in successive elections in Kwekwe until 2000.
1988-2000 – Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. He had, however, acted as Minister of Finance for about 15 months when the then incumbent, the late national hero Dr Bernard Chidzero, was not feeling well.
2000-2005 – Mnangagwa was elected Speaker of Parliament.
2005-2009 –He was Appointed Minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities.
2008 –The President was elected MP for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency
2009-2013 – He was appointed Minister of Defence and then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs after the elections.
2014 –Mnangagwa was appointed Vice President following the dismissal of Joice Mujuru, and doubled up as the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
October 2017 –He was removed from the Justice portfolio Following a Cabinet reshuffle, and later dismissed from Government on November 6, 2017.
November 8, 2017 – Mnangagwa is expelled from Zanu-PF, although he had already left the country following attempts on his life after he was dismissed as Vice President of the Zimbabwe.
November 19, 2017 – An extraordinary session of the Zanu-PF Central Committee readmits Cde Mnangagwa as First Secretary and President while sacking former President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe at the same time.
November 21, 2017 – Zanu-PF Lovemore Matuke notified Parliament that Zanu-PF had nominated Mnangagwa to replace former President Mugabe.
November 22, 2017 – Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe after self-imposed exile.
November 23, 2017 – Mnangagwa was inaugurated as the head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces .


Police refuse to open Gukurahundi docket against Mugabe

Mnangagwa is believed to have been largely involved in the infamous Gukurahundi Massacres that took place in the 1980s. He was reported to have worked hand in hand with the army to suppress Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) then led by Joshua Nkomo.After appointment as National Security Minister in 1980, Mnangagwa was in charge of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and it is believed that the organisation took part in the massacres resulting in the deaths of an estimated 20 000 lives in Matabeleland and Manicaland Province. His nickname the ‘Crocodile’ was very prominent in this era.

Gukurahundi apology

During an interview at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland Mnangagwa refused to apologize for the Gukurahundi atrocity that happened in the 1980s whilst he was still a Minister in the Mugabe administration. While being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland by Mishal Husain, Mnangagwa admitted that he was in a position of power when the Gukurahundi massacres took place. Mnangagwa was Minister of National Security which was responsible for the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). He said that he was open to appearing before the National Healing and Peace Commission. He, however, disputed the 20 000 figure and said that the number of casualties is actually lesser than that. When told that he could just apologise for the atrocities as a starting point, Mnangagwa said there is nothing more than him signing the Peace and Reconciliation Bill into law.

Corruption Allegations


Mnangagwa was pointed out by the United Nations in 2001 as the architect behind Zanu-PF’s illicit dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo.These deals had to do with the Zimbabwe National Army and other unnamed businessmen from both countries. There was widespread speculation that he got access to the DRC’s mineral wealth due to Zimbabwe’s taking part in the war. .

Unlawful Release

There were allegations that were made in the press to the effect that Mnangagwa had unlawfully facilitated the release of George Tanyanyiwa Chikanga in 2000. This was reported to have taken place while the President was still the minister of Legal and Parliamentary affairs. Chikanga was reported to have committed several crimes ranging from armed robbery to fraud, involving figures reaching up to USD 7 million.

Share Dispute

Mnangagwa and his son Emmerson Jnr were involved in a $600 000 shares dispute between two Harare businessmen Brian Jembere and Paris Olympics. The local media reported that Jembere bought $600 000 worth of shares in Olympics’ H.E.R (Private) Limited company. Mnangagwa’s wife reportedly operates a salon at H.E.R premises, which is located at number 18311 Chiremba Road in Hillside in Harare. It was strongly believed that Olympics being closely linked to Mnangagwa used the Zimbabwe Republic Police to abuse the country’s criminal justice system to outdo Jembere.


In 2004, in what became known as the Tsholotsho Declaration, a group led by six Zanu PF provincial chairmen, some members of the Politburo, Central Committee, MPs, Veterans of the War of Liberation met at Dinyane Secondary School in Tsholotsho where an agreement was allegedly struck to install Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidium following the death of Simon Muzenda.

Under the scheme, Mnangagwa would assume the vice-presidency and eventually the leadership of Zanu-PF and the country. The meeting was allegedly held ahead of a key Zanu-PF congress in 2004. Although Mnangagwa had secured the support of six of the country’s 10 provinces, he was outdone by Mugabe’s move to amend the party’s constitution to ensure that one of the party’s vice-presidents was a woman. The decision saw Joice Mujuru being appointed vice-president.

Following the failure of the succession plot, participants in the declaration were suspended from the party with the exception of Mnangagwa who was appointed Minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities, a position considered to be of low significance.

Ouster of Mujuru and Appointment as Vice President

Mnangagwa was eventually appointed as Vice President of Zimbabwe in 2014 after the Factionalism in Zanu-PF saw the ouster of Joice Mujuru from Zanu-PF, Mujuru was dismissed from the presidium by Former President Robert Mugabe due to her alleged abuse of office and incompetence. Mnangagwa’s appointment followed 10 days later, on 10 December 2014 during the publicized ZANU PF 6th National People’s Conference held from 2 December in Harare.

Mnangagwa was appointed as both second secretary of the Zanu- PF party as well as state Vice President of the country. He was appointed together with Phelekezela Mphoko representing the ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’s Union) wing as part of the Unity Accord agreement. Mnangagwa’s appointment came after years of speculation on who would land the job after the death of John Nkomo. Most analysts predicted Mnangagwa would land the post due to his unquestioned loyalty to Robert Mugabe. There was also speculation that the decline of the Mujuru led faction and the relegation of Joice Mujuru left Mnangagwa with considerable support both in the politburo as well as in the Central Committee. It is generally believed that Mnangagwa enjoyed popular support from Zanu-PF forefront leaders such as the former Secretary of the Women’s League Grace Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo, Oppah Muchinguri, Obert Mpofu and Christopher Mutsvangwa.

Team Lacoste vs G40


From the dawn of these two factions believed to be part of Zanu-PF, a lot of friction and finger pointing on who did what was very evident.Some members of the party openly talked about the two factions on rallies.The main pointers being how one faction might outdo the other and which faction was better.Mnangagwa was tied to the Lacoste Faction (a play on Mnangagwa’s nickname which means crocodile and the crocodile logo on the Lacoste clothing label) while the G40 was reported to have been led by Grace Mugabe.

Dimissal and Expulsion from the party


Emerson Mnangagwa was dismissed from Government on various charges including discharging his duties in a manner inconsistent with his official duties, disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability and a lack of probity in the execution of his duties by Robert Mugabe. Following the recommendations from the Zanu-PF Youth League, Zanu-PF Women’s League and ten provinces that Mnangagwa should be expelled from the party,he was expelled following the 313th ordinary session of the Politburo on the 8th of November 2017.This dismissal was generally thought as motivated by the increasingly tense factional fights.

Reinstatement into the Party
The Zanu-PF Central Committee which is the highest decision-making body outside of Congress dismissed Robert Mugabe as the party leader and first secretary of Zanu-PF on 19 November 2017.Emmerson Mnangagwa was appointed party leader and state-president-in-waiting.

Assuming The Presidency
On the 24th of November 2017 Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn as President of Zimbabwe after Zanu-PF party had voted him as president in waiting and reinstatement into the party.The swearing in took place at the National Sports Stadium in Harare and was conducted by Luke Malaba.

Alleged Assasination Attempts

Attempted Poisoning 2014
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Television reported that there was an attempt to poison the former Vice President just before he was appointed Vice President. Unknown assailants were believed to have sprinkled the deadly cyanide poison in Mnangagwa’s office at the new government complex in Harare. It was also reported that Mnangagwa was lucky to survive after his secretary, the first one to enter into office was seriously affected by the poison.She was rushed to a local hospital where she was treated. Former President Robert Mugabe broke the news on 10 December 2014 while announcing the new look on Zanu-PF Politburo, which saw Mnangagwa replace Joyce Mujuru as Robert Mugabe’s deputy.

Alleged Ice Cream Poisoning 2017
Mnangagwa was ferried from a Youth Interface Rally in Gwanda in August 2017, after he fell ill and started vomiting.It was alleged that he had eaten ice cream from Gushungo Dairy. He was later airlifted to South Africa, where he was reported to have recovered. However, days later the then Minister of Information and Publicity Christopher Mushohwe, dismissed the poisoning allegations refuting that Mnangagwa had not eaten any ice cream at all. He was reported to have said that the former Vice President had instead eaten, stale food which had upset his stomach. Mnangagwa further cemented that he was not poisoned.

“I would like to put it on record straight regarding my alleged consumption of ice cream from Gushungo Dairy at the High Table on the occasion of the Youth Interface Rally at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, in Matabeleland South Province on Saturday 12th August 2017. No such thing ever occurred. The insinuation that I partook ice cream from the said dairy is false and mischievous, and being peddled by unscrupulous elements with a sinister agenda of creating a rift between me and the first family and lower market confidence in the products from the dairy and cause unnecessary alarm and despondency among peace-loving Zimbabweans.”

However, at the end of September 2017, Mnangagwa confirmed rumours that he had been poisoned which he and state officials had dismissed. Speaking at the memorial service of the late Shuvai Mahofa in Masvingo, Mnangagwa said:

“I have come to tell you that what happened to Mai Mahofa in Victoria Falls is what also happened to me. “I am making tremendous recovery. Those who wished me dead will be ashamed because when God’s time for one to die is not up, he will not die. I still have many years to live and the truth will come out,”

June 2018 Explosion At Bulawayo Rally
On 23 June 2018, after Mnangagwa addressed as rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, an explosion went off as he left the stage. Several people near him were injured including, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Marry Chiwenga (wife to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga) and others. Mnangagwa himself escaped unscathed.

Commenting on the attack later that day, Mnangagwa said that the cowardly act would not get in the way of holding a peaceful election on 30 July 2018.

Calls for Peace, Love After Stadium Blast
After Emmerson Mnangagwa, survived an assassination attempt at an election campaign rally, he said that Zimbabweans should address their differences amicably and not resort to violence to resolve any conflict.

In a statement following a blast at White City Stadium in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to always embrace each other with love and not engage in violence.

Mnangagwa’s Administration placed Under USA Sanctions

United States renewed sanctions against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration and former ZANU-PF leader Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.New Ministers appointed after the Mugabe ouster and who were not on the list of targeted sanctions were also added on the list.

Promises Made by Emmerson Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged for the first democratic vote since Robert Mugabe was deposed.
Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to pay compensation for land grabs during the Fast track land reform.
Mnangagwa promised jobs
Mnangagwa promised financial stability
Mnangagwa promised smooth transition of power if he lost the 2018 election.

TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people

In 2018 President Emmerson Mnangagwa was listed on TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the world. Mnangagwa is listed together with US-based South African comedian Trevor Noah.Mnangagwa was listed in the leaders category.

Promise to step down in the event of loosing the 2018 presidential election

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Lieutenant-General (retired) Sibusiso Moyo said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was prepared to step down if he lost the 2018 presidential elections to MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa or any other opposition candidate. Minister Moyo made the revelation at Chatham House in the United Kingdom, where he spoke on the government’s plans for re-engagement and renewal of Zimbabwe’s international economic relations.

Zimbabwe is open for Bussiness
Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country was “open for business” after almost four decades of oppressive rule by former leader Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa, who took the top job in November following Mugabe’s dramatic resignation, said his priority was embracing the international economy and modernizing infrastructure, in an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest at the World Economic Forum in Davos.Mnangagwa pledged “zero tolerance on corruption” and said he was “doing everything possible to deal with our debts.



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