Promise Mkwananzi is a youthful, charismatic, Zimbabwean politician, he is the ex-President of the Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU). In his career as a student leader, MKwananzi was expelled from the University of Zimbabwe. He was also arrested numerous times for leading students protests against the government's unjust education policies. He was recently elected into the MDC youth assembly as secretary general and appointed a member of the national executive committee as secretary for youth affairs, making him the youngest national executive member in the party's history at 28. A close ally of Morgan Tsvangirai, Mkwananzi did his education at the Utrecht University in Netherlands where he attained a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations. He also attained a masters in international development studies. He is seen as one of the key emerging leaders of the party, challenging the autonomy that was solely enjoyed by Nelson Chamisa who is celebrated as the only former student leader to lead the party. Mkwananzi is viewed by many as a radical intellectual who sides with the poor especially peasant, workers and the youth. He is highly tipped to be appointed into a cabinet position if the MDC comes into power because of his education credentials. Mkwananzi is also a fierce advocate of youth autonomy, arguing that the youth should be at the forefront of both the revolution and decision making. He is widely known for his eye for an eye call in which he called upon the youth to retaliate violence from ZANU PF youths. Mkwananzi lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Attempts to draw parallels between Julius Malema and Mkwananzi have been met with heavy criticism. Those who are against this view argue that Mkwananzi is too cautions, even timid to challenge the authiorities that be in the MDC. Secondly that the MDC youth assembly is in itself too weak to allow Mkwananzi to do this. Mkwananzi is also said to lack the political base to do this as he is a relative outsider in the party. He recently assumed the powerful youth position in 2010 when he returned from the Netherlands where he was studying. Meanwhile, Malema is a radical deeply rooted in the ANC with massive business interests to support his actions. It remains to be seen how Mkwananzi will establish himself in the party.
Mkwananzi was a law student at UZ University of Zimbabwe, and as a result of his engangement in the students movement which is critical of the dictatorship of Robert Gabriel Mugabe and by some accounts the government de-registered him in June 2007. Mkwananzi went on to complete his studies in the Netherlands.