Equatorial Guinea leader Nguema to hold 'secret talks' with Mugabe – report

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Xavier Bourgois, AFP)
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Xavier Bourgois, AFP)

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema is reportedly in Zimbabwe on a two day state visit, and is also expected to hold "secret talks" with ousted president Robert Mugabe.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Nguema arrived in the southern African country on Thursday and "pledged to continue working with the new administration" led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The newspaper maintained that there was nothing out of the ordinary about Nguema's visit, as he was there to strengthen already existing bilateral relations. 

Following three hours of closed-door talks with Mnangagwa, the long time west African nation's leader said he was in the country to show support to the new president.

Mnangagwa described Nguema's visit as natural and normal.

"This is natural. His Excellence (President Nguema) has been coming here in the past and he continues to come here, and in the future he is going to come. So there is nothing out of the way, this is natural and normal," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

'Secret meeting'

Meanwhile, New Zimbabwe.com reported that the west African leader was expected to hold "a secret meeting" with his longtime friend Mugabe. 

The report quoted "high level security sources", who claimed that Nguema was bank rolling Mugabe's come back through a number of elaborate plans to get Mnangagwa out of power.  

Nguema has ruled Equatorial Guinea since 1979 and has survived a number of coups against his regime, with the latest being a coup attempt by Simon Mann in 2004.

Mann and at least 64 men were arrested by Mugabe's secret police after landing in Harare to collect weapons that would have been used to carry out the failed coup in the west African country, the report said. 

"Plans are at an advance stage to receive him," the report quoted an unnamed source at the foreign affairs ministry as saying. "The main purpose of the visit is to see Mugabe."

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