Eleven Facts About Auxilia Mnangagwa – Zimbabwe’s First Lady

If Robert Mugabe getting the boot was something to celebrate, then perhaps swapping Grace Mugabe for Auxilia Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s First Lady is something to hold a carnival for.

Bob’s wife is widely accepted as the more malicious of the two. An incredible feat given Mr Mugabe’s treacherous 37-year reign. In fact, it was the threat of Grace assuming the presidency that accelerated the bloodless transition back in November.

So whoever followed Gucci Grace didn’t have a very high bar set for her. Nonetheless, Auxilia Mnangagwa – wife of the newly-elected leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa – has a chance to redefine the role of Zimbabwe’s First Lady.

Who is Zimbabwe’s First Lady? Quick Facts:

1. She has her own long career in politics. Auxilia is no novice to moving in political circles. She has worked for Zanu PF in some capacity for the last 35 years, and became an MP in 2015.
Eleven facts about Auxilia Mnangagwa – Zimbabwe’s First Lady
2. Mrs Mnangagwa used to be a spy. Between 1992 – 1997, Zimbabwe’s First Lady was more of a ‘femme fatale’. She worked for the Central Intelligence Organisation during a five-year spell.

3. She believes Grace Mugabe is ‘a very nice lady’ This might take a while to help convince others, but Auxilia has only expressed warm feelings towards her predecessor. During a 2015 interview with The Standard, AM claimed Grace ‘always tries to help people with their problems’. Go figure!

4. This Au’ is loyal: The Mnangagwa’s have been married 30 years. At his inauguration on Friday, Mnangagwa began his speech by acknowledging his wife of over 30 years.

5. Auxilia isn’t Emmerson’s first wife, though. It’s widely accepted that Emmerson Mnangagwa has been married before. Reports suggest Mrs Mnangagwa is either the second or third wife of the President.

6. Where is Auxilia Mnangagwa from? She is from Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central Province, in the North East of Zimbabwe. This is also where she runs the rule as an MP.

7. Mrs Mnanagagwa never entertained thoughts of being First Lady. When interviewed by Zimbabwean newspaper The Standard two years ago, she was rather prophetically asked about her chances of becoming the First Lady. It’s fair to say she hadn’t given it much though:

“My husband has already stated that being a Vice- President does not assure one of being President and going to the State House. According to the Constitution, anyone can be President.”

8. She’s a charitable soul… The first lady’s charitable work has a focus on the upliftment of women. She helped establish women’s banks in several areas of the country’s Midlands.

9. And Auxilia is fighting to end ‘child brides’ She is involved in campaigns that look to end early childhood marriages, and she’s currently pushing to ensure people in her constituency send their children to school.

10. Auxilia Mnangagwa has tamed ‘The Crocodile’: In that interview with the standard, The First Lady was in no mood to uphold her husband’s “strongman” reputation. Here’s what she said when she was asked about life with the man also known as ‘The Crocodile’:
Eleven facts about Auxilia Mnangagwa – Zimbabwe’s First Lady
“At home with me, he is very loving and caring. He is a quiet and very soft-spoken man. He has no time to intimidate others. Those that fear him don’t really know him, and no, I have never feared my husband, he is my best friend.”

On this basis, we’re going to start calling him The Teddy Bear, rather than The Crocodile.

11. She has never assaulted anyone with an extension cord. We already like her more than Grace…!

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