Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has just departed from an airport in South Africa to make his return to his country.
An Associated Press witness saw him depart, shortly after Mnangagwa met with South African President Jacob Zuma.
Mnangagwa is set to arrive at a military air base in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, and will be sworn in Friday morning at a local stadium.
South Africa’s presidential office has just tweeted photos of Mnangagwa and Zuma shaking hands and smiling. – AP
Born in the southwestern Zvishavane district on September 15, 1942, Mnangagwa completed his early education in Zimbabwe before his family relocated to neighbouring Zambia.
His grandfather was a traditional leader and his father a political agitator for the repeal of colonial laws that disadvantaged blacks.
In 1966, Mnangagwa joined the struggle for independence from Britain, becoming one of the young combatants who helped direct the war after undergoing training in China and Egypt.
He was arrested and sentenced to death but his sentence was later commuted to 10 years in prison because of his young age.
After independence in 1980, he directed a brutal crackdown on opposition supporters that claimed thousands of lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
The Gukurahundi massacres remain the biggest scar on his reputation among many Zimbabweans. He once remarked that he had been taught to “destroy and kill” – although he later claimed to be a born-again Christian. – AFP
Mnangagwa’s rise to the top comes after decades of experience under Mugabe since Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980.
In the early days, Mugabe appointed Mnangagwa, a young trainee lawyer, as Zimbabwe’s first minister for national security.
After that, he held a host of different cabinet positions – but relations between him and his political mentor were not always easy, and the younger man was no stranger to presidential purges.
In 2004, he lost his post as administrative secretary in the ruling Zanu-PF after being accused of openly angling for the post of vice president.
But it was during the 2008 elections that his fortunes really began to change, when he was serving as head of Mugabe’s election campaign.
Mugabe lost the first round vote, and Mnangagwa allegedly supervised the wave of violence and intimidation that forced the opposition to pull out of the run-off vote.
In the same year, he took over as head of the Joint Operations Command, a committee of security chiefs which was accused by rights groups of organising violence to crush dissent.
He was targeted by EU and US sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his close allies over the elections and the ensuing violence but was promptly handed control of the powerful defence ministry. – AFP
Nicknamed “the Crocodile” for his ruthlessness, Emmerson Mnangagwa who will take over as Zimbabwe’s next president, is a hardliner with ties to the military who could prove as authoritarian as his mentor Robert Mugabe.
It was his political ambition to take over which set off a bitter succession battle between him and Grace, the president’s 52-year-old wife, triggering the crisis that toppled the autocrat, who resigned on Tuesday.
When Mnangagwa was dismissed as vice president by Mugabe on November 6, it initially looked like he’d been outfoxed by the first lady, forcing him to flee the country.
But the situation quickly turned on its head, with his dismissal triggering a military takeover and mass street protests, which ended with Mugabe’s ouster and Mnangagwa catapulted to centre stage.
With the nation still reeling from Mugabe’s lightning demise, the 75-year-old was to make a triumphant return home on Wednesday and be sworn in as president on Friday.
A former close Mugabe ally, Mnangagwa’s fall from grace appears to have been engineered by the first lady, who lobbied her husband to back her own political ambitions.
It was the climax of a long feud between the pair over who would replace the ailing and increasingly frail 93-year-old leader.But Mnangagwa’s dismissal alarmed the army, with the generals quickly moving in, staging a military takeover which brought him down within days. – AFP
A Zimbabwean journalist, Wilf Mbanga, who lives in exile in South Africa, says the fall of Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president means it is time for his fellow countrymen to return home.
It’s time for every Zimbabwean now to plan to go back to rebuild our country, which has been destroyed by Mugabe through greed and avarice. – BBC
Mudenda said that, according to Zimbabwe’s constitution, the presidential nominee has to be nominated by the party of the former president.
This nominee must then to be sworn in within 48 hours. – BBC
Zimbabwe’s parliamentary speaker says he has been formally notified by the ruling Zanu-PF party that Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday.
A group that monitors the country’s parliament was at the press conference where Jacob Mudenda refused to take questions. – BBC
Now the focus in Zimbabwe turns to Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s long-time deputy who was pushed aside earlier this month as unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe positioned herself to replace him and succeed her husband. Mnangagwa fled the country, claiming threats against his life.
The state-run broadcaster reported that Emmerson Mnangagwa would arrive at a military air base in the capital, Harare, at 18:00, and the Parliament speaker said he would be sworn in on Friday after the ruling party notified him of its nomination of Mnangagwa to replace Mugabe.
Crowds began to gather and VIP vehicles arrived. – AP
Jacob Mudenda is Speaker of the National Assembly in Zimbabwe and has outlined the next course of action.
He said that he received ZANU-PF’s nomination of Emmerson Mnangagwa as president and are now preparing for his inauguration on Friday
Jacob Mudenda speaker of parliament in Zimbabwe, announces President Robert Mugabe resignation in Harare.
The streets of Zimbabwe’s capital have erupted in dancing, singing, honking and cheers after Mugabe announced his immediate resignation after 37 years in power. (AP)
The silence of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and his governing African National Congress (ANC) to the fall of President Robert Mugabe is deafening.
It showed the enormous psychological influence the one-time revolutionary wielded over them – and they were so stunned by his humiliating exit that they were unable to respond. – BBC
“You have the old liberation movements.
“These parties have done a good job, but they are becoming old and corrupt.
“It’s a good wake-up call for South Africa” – Wits University professor of international relations commentary on the situation in Zimbabwe following the resignation of Robert Mugabe – 702
“SA has been seen as a bully to some extent.
“I can see some problems in the relationship
“But there is going to be continuity than change” – Wits University professor of international relations commentary on the situation in Zimbabwe following the resignation of Robert Mugabe – 702