Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Patrick Chinamasa has taken Mnangagwa praise singing to a new low after going out of his way to clear the air on Mnangagwa’s totem saying Lacoste is not his totem but a nickname given to him for leading a ‘crocodile group’ during the liberation struggle.
Introducing Mnangagwa who was the guest of honor at the Old Mutual, Anchoring In Africa Dinner held in the capital last night, Chinamasa said Mnangagwa was one of the first cadres to receive military training specializing in engineering and explosives.
“At the formation of ZAPU in 1961, Cde Mnangagwa became one of the first cadres to be trained militarily to engage the colonial system.
“He was sent to Tanganyika then to Egypt for military training, when the ZAPU split he joined the new party ZANU and was sent for further military training in China where he was specializing in engineering and also to do with explosives.
“He was the first to engage the enemy during the colonial regime and he was belonging to the crocodile group, most of you know him by the nickname Ngwena (Lacoste).
“Its not his totem but he belongs to the Shumba (Lion) totem so if he does something good don’t thank him with the Lacoste totem because its just a nickname,” said Chinamasa.
He added that the crocodile group led by Mnangagwa was given the responsibility to bomb aircrafts in Fort Victoria (now Masvingo).
“The group was into two parts one led by the late Ndangano operating in the Chimanimani area and that group killed the first white farmer to commence the struggle for our independence.
“The other crocodile group was led by our President and it was assigned with the responsibility to blow up some aeroplanes in Fort Victoria and when the group arrived the aeroplane had already flown away and they then blew up a locomotive train and escaped,” he said.
According to Chinamasa, Mnangagwa was tortured and sentenced to death only to be saved by the fact that he was younger than twenty-one, the minimum age for execution.