|“||Blessed are they who follow the path of government laws, for their days on earth shall be increased. But woe unto those who will choose the path of collaboration with dissidents, for we will certainly shorten their stay on earth.||„|
|~ Emmerson Mnangagwa|
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa (born 15 September 1942) is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who has served as President of Zimbabwe since 24 November 2017. A member of ZANU-PF and a longtime ally of former President Robert Mugabe, he held a series of Cabinet portfolios and was Mugabe's Vice-President until November 2017, when he was dismissed before coming to power in a coup d'état. He secured his first full term as president in the 2018 general election.
Mnangagwa was born in 1942 in Shabani, Southern Rhodesia, to a large Shona family. His parents were farmers, and in the 1950s he and his family were forced to move to Northern Rhodesia because of his father's political activism. There, he became active in anti-colonial politics, and in 1963, he joined the newly-formed Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the militant wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
He returned to Rhodesia in 1964 as leader of a group called the "Crocodile Gang", which attacked white-owned farms in the Eastern Highlands. In 1965, he bombed a train near Fort Victoria (now Masvingo) and was imprisoned for ten years, after which he was released and deported to the recently independent Zambia. He studied law at the University of Zambia, and practiced as an attorney for two years before going to Portuguese Mozambique to rejoin ZANU. There he was assigned to be Robert Mugabe's assistant and bodyguard, and accompanied him to the Lancaster House Agreement, which resulted in the recognised independence of Zimbabwe in 1980.
After independence, Mnangagwa held a series of senior cabinet positions under Mugabe. From 1980 to 1988, he was the country's first Minister of State Security, and oversaw the Central Intelligence Organisation. His role in the Gukurahundi massacres, in which thousands of Ndebele civilians were killed and which occurred during his tenure, is controversial. Mnangagwa was Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs from 1989 to 2000 and then served as Speaker of the Parliament from 2000 until 2005, when he was demoted to Minister of Rural Housing for openly jockeying to succeed the aging Mugabe. He returned to favour during the 2008 general election, in which he ran Mugabe's campaign, orchestrating political violence against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai.
Mnangagwa served as Minister of Defence from 2009 until 2013, when he became justice minister again. He was also appointed First Vice-President in 2014 and was widely considered to be a leading candidate to succeed Mugabe.
Mnangagwa's ascendancy was opposed by the President's wife, Grace Mugabe, and her Generation 40 political faction. He was dismissed from his positions by Mugabe in November 2017, and fled to South Africa. Soon after, General Constantino Chiwenga, backed by elements of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and members of Mnangagwa's Lacoste political faction, launched a coup. After losing the support of ZANU–PF, Mugabe resigned, and Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe to assume the presidency.
Mnangagwa is nicknamed "Garwe" or "Ngwena", which means "the crocodile" in the Shona language,