Ageing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Monday announced he would go for his annual holiday, putting him firmly in line to succeed the veteran ruler.
He replaced former vice president and presidential hopeful Joice Mujuru, who was accused of plotting to topple Mugabe in a sustained campaign of attacks by Mugabe’s wife, Grace.
Mnangagwa has held various senior posts in the country’s defence and internal security apparatus.
He played a critical role in Mugabe’s crackdown against opposition supporters that claimed thousands of lives in the 1980s.
Mnangagwa also helped Mugabe hold on to power during the 2008 elections, which the opposition won in the first round, but which were boycotted in the second round because of widespread intimidation and violence.