Emmerson Mnangagwa
Picture of Emmerson Mnangagwa
Emmerson Mnangagwa
BornEmmerson Mnangagwa
(1942-09-15) September 15, 1942 (age 79)
Midlands, Zimbabwe
ResidenceHarare, Zimbabwe.
Spouse(s)Auxilia Mnangagwa
ChildrenEmmerson Mnangagwa Junior, Collin, Sean, Chido Emma, Farai Celine, Justine Mhurai, Samora Samuel [1]

Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a politician and the First Secretary of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu- PF). He is the current President of Zimbabwe and was sworn in on the 24th of November 2017 as Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.[2]

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 [3]

Emmerson Mnangagwa Latest News


Mnangagwa was born on the 15th of September 1942 to mother Mhurai and father Mafidhi Mnangagwa.[4] 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.[5]


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.[6]

Political Career

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.[7] 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.[5] 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.[8]

Emmerson Mnangagwa Timeline

  • 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 .[6]

Involvement in Zanu PF Political Violence


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.[9] His nickname the 'Crocodile' was very prominent in this era.[10]

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. .[11]

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.[12] Chikanga was reported to have committed several crimes ranging from armed robbery to fraud, involving figures reaching up to USD 7 million.[13]

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.[14]

Bid to succeed Mugabe

Tsholotsho Declaration

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.[15]

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.[16].

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[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]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.[20] 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.[21]

Assuming as President

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

Assasination Allegations

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.[18] 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.[18]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.[18]

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,” [22]

November 2017 Assassination Attempt

Upon his return after the reinstatement, Mnangagwa reportedly indicated in his opening speech that he had fled the country and went into exile.The main reason reported was that he was informed that his life was in danger and there were plans to eliminate him within two hours of him getting the letter of dismissal.Emmerson Mnangagwa’s First Speech After Returning To The Country


Comment on Nicknname

Mnangagwa was reported to have said this about his nickname::

“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. So a good guerrilla leader strikes at the appropriate time. That’s the import of the nicknames we give each other”[23]


  1. BLESSED MHLANGA, Mnangagwa’s son charged, Newsday, Published: 18 Feb 2016, Retrieved: 18 Feb 2016
  2. Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new President , , Published: 24 November 2017 , Retrieved: 24 November 2017
  3. [1],    , Published: 22 March 2016, Retrieved: 27 July 2016
  4. President Consoles Mnangagwa Family, The Zimbabwe Situation, Published: December 11, 2010, Retrieved:January 22, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 C. Manyuke, Profile Emmerson-Mnangagwa, "Chronicle", published:11 Dec 14,retrieved:11 Dec 14"
  6. 6.0 6.1 ED’s timeline , ,24 November 2017: DATE_24 November 2017
  7. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa
  8. Profile: Emmerson Mnangagwa
  9. Mnangagwa has Matabele blood on his hands
  10. Robert Mugabe strikes secret deal to hand Zimbabwe power to Emmerson Mnangagwa
  11. J. Winter, Profile: Emmerson Mnangagwa, "BBC News", published:30 Mar 07,retrieved:11 Dec 14"
  12. Zimbabwe: State Completes Probe Into Mnangagwa, Chikanga Case, AllAfrica, Published: September 20, 2002, Retrieved: January 7, 2015,
  13. Pedzisai Ruhanya, Mnangagwa visited jailed armed robber, Daily News, Published: October 25, 2001, Retrieved: January 7, 2014
  14. T. Kamhungira, Mnangagwa sucked into $600 000 share dispute,Nehanda Radio, published:13 Jan 2015,retrieved:14 Jan 2015"
  15. Zanu PF exorcises Tsholotsho ghost, NewsDay, published: September 9, 2013, retrieved: Aug 1, 2016
  16. Gumbo comes to Mujuru’s defence, attacks Herald, New Zimbabwe, published: October 31, 2014, retrieved: Aug 1,2016
  17. Alex Magaisa, The Year Of The Crocodile, Alex Magaisa, published: December 10, 2014, retrieved: Aug 1, 2016
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 , VP Mnangagwa escapes poisoning, "ZBC", published:10 Dec 2014,retrieved:11 Dec 2014"
  19. Lacoste vs G40: ED ‘poisoning’ triggers vicious fight , The Standard, Published: 10 September 2017, Retrieved: 11 November 2017
  20. 20.0 20.1 Zanu-PF expels Mnangagwa, The Herald, Published: 09 November 2017, Retrieved: 09 November 2017
  21. of People Expelled From Zanu-PF Following Central Committee Meeting , Published: 19 November 2017 , Retrieved: 22 November 2017
  22. Everson Mushava/Blessed Mhlanga (October 2, 2017). "It's gloves off: Mnangagwa". NewsDay. AMH. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  23. Alex Magaisa, Interview with “The Crocodile”: Insights from Mnangagwa’s recent interview , AlexMagaisa.com , Published:4 September 2015 , Retrieved: 19 February 2016