Two weeks after being fired, “disloyal” Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa may find himself returning to Zimbabwe to take leadership after Robert Mugabe resigned.

When Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, Mnangagwa was chosen as 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.

With close ties to the military and security, Mnangagwa seemed an obvious candidate for the future of Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa joined the fight against white minority rule in Rhodesia while still a teen in the 1960s. He was captured, tortured and convicted of blowing up a locomotive in 1965. He was sentenced to death, but due to being found under 21, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Several decades under President Mugabe has given Mnangagwa the support and power needed, but many are sceptical that he will do anything to curb Zimbabwe’s human rights abuses.

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