crocodile tears

Emmerson Mnangagwa: The ruthless pursuit of power

By Farai Shawn Matiashe

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on August 21, 2023 16:28

President Emmerson Mnangagwa lacks Mugabe’s intellectual flair. (Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo)
President Emmerson Mnangagwa lacks Mugabe’s intellectual flair. (Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo)

The Zimbabwe president’s life story leaves no doubt that he will stop at nothing to win Wednesday’s election, even though he has tried to erase his involvement in the Gukurahundi genocide.

Lacking the oratory skills of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has nevertheless espoused a similar rule of tyranny and authoritarianism to keep himself in Zimbabwe’s top spot.

After Zimbabwe’s independence from the British colonialists in 1980, Mugabe became prime minister while Mnangagwa was appointed Zimbabwe’s first minister of national security.

In charge of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), a state spy agency inherited from the Rhodesian government, ‘The Crocodile’, as he became known, used his skills honed during the colonial era to crack down on Zimbabweans.


Although there are different versions surrounding his birthdate, Mnangagwa is believed to be 80 years old, born in Zvishavane, about 391 kilometres from the capital, Harare.

He honed his skills at an early age as Zimbabweans attempted to liberate the country from the colonial

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime