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Mnangagwa blamed for planning gukurahundi

by AP
24 Nov 2017 at 08:14hrs | Views
When Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, Mnangagwa was appointed minister of security. He directed the merger of the Rhodesian army with Mugabe's guerrilla forces and the forces of rival nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo.

In 1983, Mugabe launched a brutal campaign against Nkomo's supporters that became known as the Matabeleland massacres for the deaths of 10 000 to 20 000 Ndebele people in Zimbabwe's southern provinces. Mnangagwa was widely blamed for planning the deadly campaign of the army's North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade.

Mnangagwa denies it. He also is reputed to have amassed a considerable fortune. He was named in a United Nations investigation into exploitation of mineral resources in Congo and has been active in making Harare a significant diamond trading centre.

In 2008, Mnangagwa was Mugabe's agent in an election marked by violence and allegations of vote-rigging, leading him to be placed under US sanctions that continue to this day.

He also helped broker the creation of a short-lived coalition government that brought in opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

In recent years, Mnangagwa promoted himself as an experienced leader who would bring stability to Zimbabwe. Despite his bloody past, "some people see redeeming features in Mnangagwa," said Tichaona Zindoga, political editor of the state-run Herald newspaper.

"He is seen as business-oriented, which may help him improve the economy." However, Zindoga added, "politically his ties to Zanu-PF cannot be wished away. And the events of the past two weeks mean that he is ingratiated to the military." -

Source - Associated Press