24 May 2018

Equatorial Guinea: Coup Survivor Nguema in Zim Secret Visit to Meet Mugabe?

Photo: Joseph Nyadzayo/The Herald
Then Zimbabwe President Mugabe and his Equatorial Guinea counterpart Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (file photo).

Equatorial Guinea president Theodoro Nguema Basogo is expected in Harare, Thursday for a private visit, high level sources said Wednesday.

Nguema is a long standing friend of the Zanu PF regime in Zimbabwe particularly under deposed strongman Robert Mugabe, especially since a "coup party" led by celebrated "dog of war" Simon Mann was intercepted in Harare in March, 2004.

"He is expected to arrive on Thursday and set to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mugabe.

"Plans are at an advanced stage to receive him," impeccable sources at the Foreign Affairs ministry said yesterday. "The main purpose of his visit is to see Mugabe."

However the visit is being kept a top secret, sources said.

Following Mugabe's removal and the subsequent rise to power of Mnangagwa in November last year, security sources in Harare claimed Nguema had been behind an audacious attempt to fund and orchestrate a daring fight back to reverse the military intervention known as Operation Restore Legacy.

Nguema has been leader of oil rich Equatorial Guinea since 1979 having seized power in a military coup against his uncle.

On the other hand, Mnangagwa was catapulted to power by a bloodless military coup that brought Mugabe's 37 year rule to a dramatic and screeching halt last year.

Mugabe intercepted Mann and a group of about 60 other mercenaries in 2004 at the then Harare International Airport.

The group was on its way to topple Nguema and since then the two regimes have developed very close ties. A number of Zimbabwean soldiers have been to the western African country to train colleagues there under a government to government agreement during Mugabe's era.

Repeated efforts to get comment from government drew blanks. Acting Information minister Simon Khaya Moyo's phone was unreachable. Mnangagwa's spokesperson George Charamba is said to be on leave while his deputy Regis Chikowore was not picking his mobile late Wednesday.

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