Africa: Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa, "the Crocodile", on the Path to Maintaining Tyranny.

Jubilation at the Zimbabwean's parliament as Robert Mugabe resigns on November 21, 2017.

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On August 23, 2023, Zimbabwean people will elect their president.  Given the political dynamics in the country and the reported or perceived growing repression and the hold on the state media,  the opposition, especially the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC),  most people, activists,  and civil society groups have been questioning the fairness of the election.  In fact the current Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa , at more than 80 years-old and 43 years in power, seems to have forgotten his promises and decided to follow in the steps of Robert Mugabe and other African dictators to hold onto power. .

In November 2017, Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe, a revolution hero turned into tyram, was forced to resign by his the once loyal army. They army of seized power after Robert Mugabe sacked former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was the ruling party ZANU-PF’s favourite to succeed him. The army was fed up when reportedly Robert Mugabe, then His resignation ends his reign of 37 years. At 93-year-271-day-old and the oldest serving state leader by age,  sought to smooth a path to the presidency for his self-styled wife, Grace Mugabe, then 52, known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed extravagance and fondness for luxury shopping.

 Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, a week after the Zimbabwean army and many of his former freedom fighters comrades moved against him. His resignation ended his reign of 37 years. At 93-year-271-day-old, he was the oldest current serving state leader by age. (see AfroAmerica Networ:  here) and (AfroAmerica Network: Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe Peacefully Resigns As President)

When in 2017 Robert Mugabe was  forced to resign,  his replacement, Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a new start for his country's people  and abide by the rules of democracy. 

Then, AfroAmerica's question was whether  the Crocodile Emmerson Mnangagwa "follow Robert Mugabe's example and finally heed the warning?"

Now, at more than 80 years-old and 43 years in power, he seems to have forgotten his promises and decided to follow in the steps of Robert Mugabe and other African dictators.

Robert Mugabe, who died in 2019,  was and will remain an African and Zimbabwean hero, for bringing freedom to Blacks in Zimbabwe and being a role model to Africans struggling for their rights and independence. Born to a poor Shona family in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia, he ended up leading a movement of freedom fighting that ultimately achieved the dismantlement of white minority rule and Rhodesia, and resulted in the creation of the current Zimbabwe nation in 1980.Unfortunately, his four decades of rule brought many failings that turned an independence hero to an archetypal African tyrant.


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Who is Emmerson Mnangagwa, the "Crocodile".

Although Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as  "the crocodile", for his devious, sly and cruel  political moves, came to power after a military takeover and mass demonstrations forced Mr Robert Mugabe to resign, he has been a long-time leader and very close to Robert Mugabe, forr most of his 43 years of political leaders.
He is one of the top leaders who, after  military training  outside the country, including in China and Egypt, led along with Robert Mugabe, the revolution and the fight for independence of Rhodesia, in the 1960s and 1970s.

Like Robert Mugabe, he is from  the largest clan of Zimbabwe's majority Shona community. He played a major role in building the wealth of the ruling party Zanu-PF.

According to multiple reports, he raised into the political leadership  during the 1980s civil war between Mr Mugabe's Zanu party and tJoshua Nkomo's Zapu party.  He was then  national security minister, in charge of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), tasked with working with the army to suppress Zapu and repress its supporters and followers, mostly from the ethnic Ndebele, seen as Zapu supporters, in a military and political campaign known as Gukurahundi, which led to the mergers of the two  two parties into Zanu-PF.

Contested Elections in a Growing Tyranny.

Despite his claims of developing the country during his 6 years of rule, observers and critics point to a rather dire situation and corruption. They point to the worsening poverty, high inflation, unemployment, corruption, and repression. They also highlight that most projects are focusing mining activities benefitting foreign countries and political leaders and their wealthy families.

They also highlight the self idolatrous worship, citing the example of the 2019 act by the Zimbabwean government under Emmerson Mnangagwa  renaming 10 streets Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Rd.

In the latest report  annual report published by the World Happiness Report in March 2023, Zimbabwe was among the  most unhappiest countries.  The common criteria for unhappiness are related to corruption, low GDP per capita, repression, low life expectancy rate,  limited healthcare, and high crime or murder rates.  As expected, countries led by dictators or well known incapable or corrupt leaders came in the bottom. These include Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Haiti, Togo, and Chad (see here).

Zimbabwean leaders, since Robert Mugabe's reign, continue to be under US and European Union economic and travel sanctions and  arms embargo. Hence, Emmerson Mnangagwa has focused his alliances with China and Russia. He has made it clear that whether the Zimbabwean people want it or not, he will be the next president, saying during a recent rally that  "No-one will stop us from ruling this country. You will be lost if you don't vote for Zanu-PF."

As mentioned  in the article about Robert Mugabe's failures and brave decision to resign when faced with growing discontent of the Zimbabwean people, many African tyrants, started like Robert Mugabe.

However, unlike him, many African tyrants continue to ignore the call for a change. The examples including the longest serving or aspirant presidents-for-life or rather tyrants-for-life, such as Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Cameroon's Paul Biya, Rwanda's Paul Kagame, Equatorial Guinea's Obiang Nguema, Republic of the Congo's Sassou Nguesso, Togo's Faure Gnassimbé and now Zimbabwean  Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

The question remains: will the African tyrants, including Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa,  at some point follow Robert Mugabe's example and finally heed the warning?




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