Here are 5 things to know about Mnangagwa.
Born in 1942
Mnangagwa, 75, a member of the country’s dominant Shona tribe, was born in 1942, in Zvishavane, central Zimbabwe. His name is pronounced Mn-uh-ng-ug-wa. He was fired as vice president by Mugabe — who accused him of plotting to take over from him — on November 6 and fled the country
A former justice and defense minister, Mnangagwa was an ally of Mugabe for around 50 years, from the days of the pre-independence liberation struggle.
Mnangagwa served as Mugabe’s enforcer, earning him the nickname ‘the crocodile” for his ruthlessness. His supporters are known as Team Lacoste because of the fashion brand’s reptilian logo.
He joined the fight against minority white rule while still a teenager and was convicted of blowing up a train in 1965 and sentenced to death by hanging. When he was found to be under 21, he was instead sentenced to 10 years in prison and jailed with contemporaries including Mugabe.
Human rights abuses
Opposition supporters believe Mnangagwa was instrumental in the killings of tens of thousands of civilians from the Ndebele ethnic minority in the early 1980s as Mugabe moved to quash opposition.