Friday 23 March 2018

Who is Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa?

Who is Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa?
(RFI 11/23/17)

Zimbabwe's next President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to lead the country out of economic ruin, ahead of his inauguration Friday. The former Vice president returned to Harare Wednesday, after being sacked two weeks ago, in what triggered a military takeover and the end of Robert Mugabe's near four decade rule.

Nicknamed the "Crocodile" for his political shrewdness, Emmerson Mnangagwa portrays himself as a free-market enthusiast.

A week before military generals took over Zimbabwe, the 75-year old penned a strongly-worded critique of former President Robert Mugabe, and the clique around him, blaming it for the country's economic collapse.

Relations between the former allies have cooled significantly since their first encounter in a Zimbabwean prison cell in the 1970s.

Before falling out over a bitter succession battle within the ruling ZANU-PF party, Mnangagwa and Mugabe had forged close ties in their fight to liberate Zimbabwe from British colonial rule.

A former freedom-fighter, Mnangagwa was part of a gang called the Crocodiles -- which may be where his nickname comes from-- a freelance gang that eventually merged into the formal guerilla structure of Robert Mugabe.

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