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Mnangagwa personal history mystery

by Staff reporter
26 Mar 2024 at 06:43hrs | Views
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa's origins and personal history is as clear as mud claims The Newshawks.

There are many stories about Mnangagwa's roots and this is now subject to scrutiny by some academic researchers.

Some say he is originally from Mapanzure, Zvishavane, in the Midlands, others assert he is from Chivi in Masvingo.

Yet some locate him in Bikita, Masvingo, where his father Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa is reportedly buried.

Mnangagwa's grandson - Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa who carried his great grandfather's name - a progeny to his twin son Tafadzwa Sean (the other one is Takunda Collins) - was buried next to him after he died in October 2022.

However, other people claim Mnangagwa's family is from Zambia, which some dispute, saying although he grew up there, he is not originally Zambian.

His family history is not well-known to the public. It remains a mystery like the late former president Robert Mugabe's history.

Mnangagwa, like Mugabe, has done precious little to explain his background to inform the public and avoid speculation, choosing to tell his story in anecdotes and obfuscation.

In Zimbabwe's ethnography, Mnangagwa is classified as a Karanga, a Shona sub-ethnic group mainly living in Midlands and Masvingo provinces.

But then again some say he also has some obscure Ndebele links which have remained equally a mystery - perhaps until last week.

In this video, Mnangagwa says his great grandfather (Mbengo) was part of 19th century Ndebele King Lobengula's military units, including the crack Imbizo Regiment which defeated the Alan Wilson Patrol in the historic Battle of Pupu in December 1893.

Mnangagwa says his great grandfather grew up under the Ndebeles after a peace agreement between Chief Chivi and founding Ndebele leader King Mzilikazi.

He says his great grandfather later returned home, but could not speak Shona and replied in Ndebele as he was socialised  among the Ndebeles.

His grandfather, who also grew up under Ndebele influence, gave him his original first name, Hlupheko (Dambudzo in shona), according to him.

This was after the arrival of Khumalos-led Ngunis onto the Zimbabwe plateau in 1838 from Zululand in South Africa.

Mzilikazi, a prominent Zulu chief and military leader, left Zululand in 1821 after breaking away from fierce Zulu King Shaka during the region-wide destabilising Mfecane wars (times of trouble) after 1816.

Mzilikazi trekked from present-day KwaZulu-Natal through different South African regions and neighbouring countries, including Lesotho, Botswana and Zambia, into Zimbabwe.

His other advance party led by Gundwane Ndiweni crossed into Zimbabwe through the Beitbridge areas to Bulawayo surroundings in the 1830s.

Officially commissioning of the Pupu Battle National Monument in Lupane last week, Mnangagwa presented his life story and relations with the Ndebeles in the context of the Battle of Pupu.

The Battle of Pupu or Shangani Patrol (Wilson's Patrol or The Last Stand) was a military unit of the British South Africa Company that was ambushed and annihilated by more than 3 000 Ndebele warriors defending fleeing Lobengula during the Anglo-Ndebele War in December 1893.

The Ndebele's crack Imbizo regiment was commanded by the legendary General Mtshane Khumalo.

Commanded by Major Allan Wilson, the patrol was attacked and destroyed just north of the Shangani River in Matabeleland North province.

Sometimes called "Wilson's Last Stand", the landmark battle achieved a prominent place in the British public imagination and, subsequently, in Rhodesian history, similar to events like the Battle of The Little Bighorn in the United States, Battle of Shiroyama in Japan, Battle of the Alamo in Texas, and the Greeks' last stand at Thermopylae.

Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, now married to a woman from Matabeleland region, Colonel Miniyothabo Baloyi, also says he has some Ndebele connections, linking himself to the historically famous Khumalo clan in the process.

He has told a story of his own.

Mugabe also said in an official statement released by late party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira in 2006 that he was related to the Ndebeles by marriage as his father Gabriel Mugabe Matibili migrated from Zvimba, Mashonaland West, to Bulawayo where he married a Ndebele woman, MaTshuma.

It was also said Matibili, like Mnangagwa's great grandfather, was in Lobengula's army, which fought and won several battles against imperial British colonial invaders, although they lost the war, leading to Zimbabwe’s occupation and settler rule for 90 years.

Interestingly and curiously, though, Mugabe, Mnangagwa and Chiwenga were all accused of involvement in Gukurahundi, the massacres of the Ndebeles during the 1980s at the height of the Zapu and Zanu political strife in pursuit of a one-party state and ethnic hegemony.

Source - newshawks