For 37 years, Emmerson Mnangagwa was Robert Mugabe’s right-hand man and one of his staunchest defenders. “Zanu-PF is a sacred party,” he told a crowd at a ZANU-PF rally earlier this year in central Zimbabwe. “It will rule and rule. Those barking will continue doing that while Zanu-PF remains in power. Forward with Mr Mugabe. Forward with Zanu-PF.”

What a difference a few months make. This month, deposed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa — nicknamed “the Crocodile” for his cunning guerrilla tactics in Zimbabwe’s independence war — led the effort to oust the longtime president and is expected to be sworn in as president Wednesday or Thursday following Mugabe's resignation.