PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa sold a total of 50 380 copies of his biography titled “A Life of Sacrifice” during an event held at State House on Thursday morning.
The book was authored by Eddie Cross, an economist and former MDC Member of Parliament and the opposition party’s founding member. Cross told a local daily publication that he got to deeply know President Mnangagwa during the process of writing the book.
According to the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), George Charamba, the 130-page book is being sold for US$15.00 per copy. This means the President pocketed US$755,000 in just one day, of course not considering production costs, author fees among others.
Charamba tweeted: “A total of 50 380 copies were sold at the launch, at USD15 a-piece!”
“A Life of Sacrifice” chronicles Mnangagwa’s experiences during the Southern Rhodesia era where he spent 10 years in prison, to present-day Zimbabwe.
Charamba added: “A LIFE OF SACRIFICE is the first-ever biography of the President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Emmerson Hlupeko Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
“Remarkably detailed, it traces the tumultuous life of a freedom fighter who escapes the noose by a whisker, to suffer ten-year imprisonment in isolation in settler colonial Rhodesia’s cruel D-Class cell reserved for persons deemed dangerous.
“Undeterred, the freedom fighter rejoins comrades to wage the armed struggle from Mozambique until the final victory in 1980 when Zimbabwe becomes free and independent.
“Independent Zimbabwe’s first State Security minister, the middle-aged Emmerson bears the onerous burden of coordinating the delicate process of integrating hitherto warring armies into one National Army loyal to the new dispensation.
“Simultaneously, he is also watching over the nascent State as Security Minister, in which role he foils countless attempts at violently reversing the new order.
“The biography traces the eventful life of a cadre-turned-president whose life and fate intersects with that of the very country he now presides over.”
However, some are unimpressed. Main opposition MDC Alliance treasurer-general David Coltart said: “In the interests of transparency, I look forward to hearing from Eddie Cross how much he was paid to do this.”
Former MDC MP, Eddie Cross has written Emmerson Mnangagwa’s biography which was launched today.
University of Oxford professor Miles Tendi, a Zimbabwean who authored a biography for the late General Solomon Mujuru, said the book was full of lies and omissions.
“ED was not a member of the Crocodile Gang; Silence on the 1980’s Gukurahundi; Silence on the DRC War; Silence on the death of Solomon Mujuru; The 2017 military coup is referred to as a “military assisted transition”,” said Tendi.
Another Zimbabwean professor of history Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni said the book is “… a glut of hagiographies masquerading as biographies.”
A hagiography is a type of biography that puts the subject in a very flattering light.
However, Christopher Mutsvangwa, a close ally and former special advisor to President Mnangagwa, fumed over Tendi’s statement.
“Blessing Miles Tendi, you are free to write oceans of ink and forests of paper on selected topics of your choice on any historical event.
“What you cannot do is compel Eddie Cross to write about what he independently thinks. You simply are just not his brain box. His grey matter is not your real estate. Neither is his writing hand your narcissist pen.
“You wrote your rag book extolling an illiterate comrade as the epitomy of guerrilla valour and prowess in the most glorious military endeavour of modern Africa’s anti-colonial, anti-racist warfare against the self- annointed Masters of the Universe of the West.
“In your specious tome, you blinded yourself to the modern African military genius that was General Magama Tongogara. For reasons of pandering to compromised patronage, your eyes only opt to pick out specks on a big screen.
“All said, you can never be a professional photographer to a wedding. Your camera lense will ogle about, registering gatecrashers and scruffy drunkards. Them rather than the folding ceremony and its enthroned bride and groom.
“Please do spare us your post-event cant about the Chimurenga-Mvukelo. It will never serve as the substitute of the true historical experience that EDM painfully walked barefeet on smouldering embers.”
– Pindula / Zimbabwe Voice