Mugabe’s ruling party ZANU PF has made former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the interim president. A section of the party who was opposed to Mugabes wife becoming president looks to be running the soft coup in Zimbabwe. Zanu PF has confirmed a bloodless coup in Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa, born September 15, 1946, is nicknamed “Ngwena,” or “The Crocodile.”
In 1963, soon after modern Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF was formed, Mnangagwa was part of the first group of young party leaders sent to China for military training.
Upon his return, he earned his nickname by leading a group of fighters called the Crocodile Gang during the country’s war of independence against Rhodesia’s white-minority rule.
Mnangagwa’s gang blew up several trains. He was arrested in 1965 and sentenced to death. He escaped that fate because his lawyers successfully argued that he was under 21 and hence underage for the hangman’s noose.
But he was brutally tortured and spent 10 years in jail, where he met and befriended Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa was released after serving his sentence and deported to Zambia, where he studied law.
He kept in close contact with Mugabe and was elected special assistant to Mugabe in 1977, becoming head of both the civil and military divisions of ZANU-PF.
After Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 and Mugabe became prime minister, Mnangagwa was named the country’s first minister of national security.
Mugabe changed the constitution and became president in 1987. From 1988 to 2000, Mnangagwa served as minister of justice, legal and paramilitary affairs, leader of the House and in several other positions for short terms.