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7 June 2023
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The Potential Exile of Emmerson Mnangagwa: Where Could Africa’s Most Corrupt Politician Flee?

By Gerry Freds

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Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President of Zimbabwe, has faced widespread criticism for his alleged involvement in corruption, illicit financial activities, and authoritarian rule. Since assuming power in 2017 through a controversial coup, Mnangagwa’s presidency has been marred by accusations of state emptiness and a deteriorating political and economic situation. As pressure mounts on him to step down, speculation arises about the potential country where Mnangagwa could seek refuge. This article analyzes the possible outcomes and implications of his removal from power.

The Controversial Presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rise to power came as a result of two successive coups in Zimbabwe since 2017, raising serious concerns about the legality and democratic legitimacy of his presidency. The removal of Robert Mugabe, a long-time autocrat, initially raised hopes for a new era of democracy and prosperity in Zimbabwe. However, Mnangagwa’s tenure has been marked by a continuation of oppressive policies, rampant corruption, and economic instability, causing disillusionment among the populace.

Accusations of Corruption and Money Laundering

One of the gravest allegations against Mnangagwa is his involvement in corruption and money laundering. He has been implicated as the world’s first head of state involved in money laundering and financing terrorism. These allegations, if proven true, would not only solidify his position as Africa’s most corrupt politician but also expose him to legal consequences at the international level.

With such serious accusations hanging over his head, Mnangagwa might consider seeking exile in a country with limited extradition treaties or a history of harboring political figures accused of corruption. However, it is important to note that fleeing the country does not absolve him of legal accountability for his alleged crimes. The international community and organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC) may actively pursue justice in such cases.

Potential Exile Destinations

When considering potential destinations for exile, several factors come into play. The availability of extradition treaties, political ties, economic incentives, and personal connections may influence Mnangagwa’s choice. Here are a few countries that could be speculated as potential destinations:

1. Equatorial Guinea: Known for its history of offering asylum to controversial leaders, Equatorial Guinea could be a possibility for Mnangagwa. The country has previously sheltered figures such as former President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s son, who faced corruption charges.

2. Russia: Given its strained relationship with the West, Russia may be willing to provide refuge to Mnangagwa. The country has previously harbored other political figures accused of corruption, making it a potential destination.

3. United Arab Emirates (UAE): With its economic stability and lack of extradition treaties with Zimbabwe, the UAE could be an attractive option for Mnangagwa. The country has become a popular destination for politicians seeking asylum in recent years.

4. China: Given China’s economic and political ties with Zimbabwe, it is conceivable that Mnangagwa could seek refuge there. However, it is worth noting that China’s stance on providing sanctuary to controversial leaders is not consistent, and it may consider the implications before offering a safe haven.


Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency in Zimbabwe has been marred by corruption, allegations of money laundering, and a deteriorating political and economic climate. As pressure mounts on him to step down, the question of where he could seek exile becomes pertinent. While it is difficult to predict Mnangagwa’s choice, countries with limited extradition treaties or a history of harboring controversial leaders may be potential destinations. Nonetheless, seeking