(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Emmerson Mnangagwa has been the victim of several assassination attempts. This article lists the alleged attempts on his life starting with the most recent.

Bomb Blast at Bulawayo Rally - 23 June 2018

Around 1530hrs, after addressing a Zimbabwe 2018 Harmonised Elections campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, as Emmerson Mnangagwa left the stage with several other high-level Zanu-PF members, there was a blast very close to him. Mnangagwa survived the blast with no injuries but others including Marry Chiwenga (wife of Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga) and Kembo Mohadi, sustained injuries.

Commenting on the incident, Mnangagwa said that the "cowardly" act would not get in the way of the peaceful elections.

Mnangagwa Assasination Attempt Blast June 20 Assassination

Read the full article on the Bulawayo June 2018 Assassination attempt here

Poisoning at Gwanda Rally - 12 August 2018

After having a meal with other high-level Zanu-PF members at a rally at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, Emmerson Mnangagwa started complaining of massive chest pains, while sitting at the high table. It was reported that Mnangagwa had just had ice cream for dessert. The ice cream was apparently supplied from Gushungo Dairy which was owned by then President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

Mnangagwa reportedly began vomiting blood and lost consciousness. He was first taken to a Gwanda Hospital for treatment but aides insisted “it was clear there was no motivation to treat to him properly”. Then army general Constantino Chiwenga reportedly intervened by directing that an airforce helicopter take him to Claybank Hospital in Gweru.

Mnangagwa was eventually airlifted to South Africa for treatment.

As rumours of Mnangagwa's poisoning spread in Zimbabwe, first lady Grace Mugabe said several days later at another event:

"How can I kill Mnangagwa? I am a wife of the president. Who is Mnangagwa on this earth? Who is he? I want to ask, what do I get from him? Killing someone who was given a job by my husband? That is nonsensical."[1]

On August 17, the Zimbabwean government issued an official denial that Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was vice president at the time, had eaten ice cream at the rally. "For the record, the Vice President did not eat ice cream," said Information Minister Chris Mushohwe.

On 31 August, Mnangagwa said that contrary to speculation, his falling ill at the Zanu PF campaign rally in Gwanda had nothing to do with ice-cream from President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo Dairy.[2]

On 22 November 2018, after being inaugurated the president of Zimbabwe, following the ouster of Robert Mugabe by a military coup, Mnangagwa said that he had indeed been poisoned in an attempted assassination:

Exactly 16 days ago, I received a letter firing me from the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe as the Vice President, within two hours I was informed about plans to eliminate me.

Realising that on the 12th of August this year I was subjected to poisoning which resulted in my being airlifted to South Africa and again I thank you the people of Zimbabwe for your prayers. I survived that poisoning.

This time around I said to myself I should not wait for them to eliminate me, but let me go out and with you the people of Zimbabwe, the people of Zanu-PF, make your voice be heard.[3]

Cyanide Lacing - December 2014

There was a break-in at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare by unknown elements who allegedly laced Emmerson Mnangagwa's desk with cyanide, poisoning his secretary who had to be hospitalised. The break-in was announced by President Robert Mugabe during an Extra-Ordinary session of the Central Committee at the party’s headquarters in Harare.

Said Mugabe:

The office of Cde Mnangagwa was broken into last night and a poisonous powder is spread all over the desk and so on. The powder – which when the door is opened and there is that flash of air – would be blown up and then he would breathe it. So it was not Mnangwagwa who opened the door it was the secretary who opened the door and poor girl, there she was. She breathed it and she is a mess, she is in intensive care.

Ko pamusana peyi chatatadza chiyi. Why? Why? Why? Anyway we want investigation to be done, I am just warning you that it’s not always those who smile at us are our friends. Take care.”[4]


  1. Mnangagwa and the 'poisoned ice cream' plot, Bulawayo 24, Published 25 Nov 2017, Retrieved:24 June 2018
  2. Mnangagwa breaks silence on poisoning, NewsDay, Published: 1 Sept 2017, Retrieved: 24 June 2018
  3. ‘I pledge to be your servant’, The Herald, Published:23 Nov 2017, 24 June 2018
  4. BREAKING: Mnangagwa assassination attempt, The Sunday Mail, Published:10 Dec 2014, Retrieved: 24 Jun 2018