Speaker of Parliament and ruling Zanu PF aspiring Member of Parliament for Kwekwe Central, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is now a born again Christian. The once-feared politician, known as ngwena (crocodile), is now preaching the gospel in his election campaign in the constituency. And true to his word, Mnangagwa, whose ambitions for the party vice-presidency were scuttled by the nomination of Joyce Mujuru, now hardly finishes a speech without referring to God. The veteran nationalist, who sits in the Zanu PF Politburo as secretary for legal affairs, will contest the March 31 parliamentary elections against Blessing Chebundo (MDC), who as a little-known politician, trounced him in the 2000 polls. His trouncing by Chebundo also pushed him out of government, but he came back as Speaker of Parliament, taking over from Cyril Ndebele.
Observers said it was refreshing that Mnangagwa had decided to turn to God. His political career is chequered by allegations that as Minister of State for National Security, he was partly responsible for the atrocities committed against citizens in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands during the mid-1980s dissident era. He has defended himself, however, and denied any responsibility for the atrocities. Mnangagwa, who was widowed several years ago, said he had received the light and word of God upon baptism last August. He said he saw himself as the biblical Saul, who was later renamed Paul after his miraculous conversion en route to cause mayhem in Damascus. As for the winner in next months polls, he said he left everything in Gods hands. If the Almighty wished, he said, he would be elected legislator for Kwekwe Central.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon