The stone-faced 75-year-old securocrat who has pulled the rug from under Robert and Grace Mugabe’s feet to emerge as the next leader of Zimbabwe, is feared because of his long links with the country’s infamous security apparatus, but at the same time has also become venerated among the Zimbabwean population who endured nearly four decades Robert Mugabe rule.
Zimbabwean nationals who have spoken to international media houses in the wake of Robert Mugabe’s resignation are making it clear that Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, or simply ED, or the Crocodile as they affectionately refer to the sacked former vice president president, might be the devil. But they see him as a lesser devil than the ousted Mugabe.
Mnangagwa is set to be sworn in as President of Zimbabwe soon following Mugabe’s resignation which was announced to the world by Parliament of Zimbabwe Speaker Jacob Mudenda on Tuesday.
Mnangagwa was expected back in the capital Harare on Wednesday evening after a self-imposed exile in neighbouring South Africa after his November 6 axing.
By lunchtime on Wednesday thousands of jubilant Zimbabweans had gathered at Manyame Airbase on the outskirts of the capital to await the returning hero.