People of Zimbabwe are waiting anxiously for the former Vice-President of Zimbabwe,  Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was exiled himself after being sacked  by  President Robert Mugabe to be the country’s next leader.

Mr Mnangagwa is set to land at 11:30am GMT, according to close ally Larry Mavhima.

Speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda will hold a news conference at 08:30am GMT.

Mr Mnangagwa could be sworn in as the country’s next president today or tomorrow and is likely to lead Zanu-PF into elections next year.

Nicknamed the ‘Crocodile’, he fled to South Africa during the military uprising that led to the deposition of Mr Mugabe.In a previous statement, he claimed he would not return until his personal safety could be assured.

Mnangagwa said: “I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied with my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired.”

The generals behind the military coup appeared to be trying to stop Mugabe’s wife Grace from succeeding the 93-year-old dictator when he dies and appear to favour Mnangagwa.

Grace’s path to power was cleared after Mugabe fired Mnangagwa earlier this month, who was his presumed successor and the country’s Vice President two weeks ago.Mnangagwa has been a loyal ally of Mugabe’s since the fight for independence in 1970s.

It has long been an open secret that the former state security chief hoped to succeed Mugabe.

The former vice-president was once a core member of Mugabe’s inner circle and helped direct the 1970s war of independence.

He was head of the secret police during the 1980s civil conflict in which thousands of civilians died.Mnangagwa has denied any part in the massacre and blamed the army.

He served as Vice President of Zimbabwe from 2014 until earlier this month when he was dismissed “for plotting against the government”.

Mnangagwa is now in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy that is in freefall.Mark Canning, the UK’s former ambassadors to Zimbabwe, has warned of the Crocodile’s “pretty fearsome reputation”.

“What we’ve seen… is all about reasserting what the generals, and presumably Mnangagwa, see as the rightful succession to President Mugabe,” he added.

“That succession was interrupted by Mrs [Grace] Mugabe’s ambitions, and the action of her clique.”South African journalist Redi Tlhabi told CNN that Mnangagwa is “just an extension” of Mugabe and he is “no democrat”.

Born in central Zimbabwe in 1942, Mnangagwa grew up to become one of the richest men in Zimbabwe.

He studied for a law degree while in Zambia, before playing a key role in Zimbabwe’s bid for independence, which was granted in 1980.

Mnangagwa is one of Mugabe’s former guerrilla comrades who joined Mugabe in exile in Mozambique as his special assistant.However, cracks began to show in Mnangagwa and Mugabe’s relationship in 2008 when Mugabe’s wife Grace launched the Generation 40 faction of Zanu-PF.

After losing the Vice Presidency just over a week ago, Mnangagwa fled to South Africa.

Many believe that Mnangagwa and his ally General Constantino Chiwenga worked conspired together to have Mugabe and Grace removed.

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