Nguema jets in for official visit

HARARE - Euatorial Guinea president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, arrived in Harare yesterday for his first official visit since President Emmerson Mnangagwa inauguration.

Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo confirmed the visit to the Daily News.

Ties between Harare and Malabo were strengthened in 2004 when Zimbabwe foiled an attempted coup by mercenaries who had hatched a plan to topple Nguema and replace him with exiled opposition leader and Spanish-based Severe Moto.

Zimbabwean security forces arrested British mercenary Simon Mann and 69 others, their Boeing 727 jet was seized by security forces during a stopover at Robert Mugabe International Airport where they planned to pick up weapons worth £100 000 while on their way to overthrow Nguema’s government.

The men were charged with violating the country’s immigration, firearms and security laws and later convicted in Equatorial Guinea for plotting a coup d’état. Mann was pardoned by Nguema after serving 15 months of a 34-year jail sentence at the end of his trial in the capital, Malabo.

He had been extradited to Equatorial Guinea after serving a four-year sentence in Zimbabwe.

Despite trying to overthrow Nguema, Mann is now his security advisor.

Nguema took power in Equatorial Guinea since 1979 after he seized power in a military coup against his uncle.

Ironically, Mnangagwa took over power through a bloodless military coup that brought president Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule to a dramatic end