Mnangagwa gifted with mansion in Equatorial Guinea; Zim leader visiting central African country

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By Lenin Ndebele I

  • Zimbabwe’s president returned to Equatorial Guinea in two months to cement trade ties.
  • President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo gave president Emmerson Mnangagwa a mansion called “Villa Zimbabwe.”
  • Zimbabwe played a key role in thwarting a 2004 coup in Malabo.

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is now a homeowner in Equatorial Guinea after that country’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, presented him with a villa, the state media in Zimbabwe reported.

Mnangagwa, 80, is on a three-day state visit to Equatorial Guinea, his second visit in two months, after attending President Nguema’s inauguration in December last year.

Mnangagwa was the only southern African leader at the inauguration after Nguema won a controversial election with a 99% majority.

The fully furnished home with a gymnasium and full staff complement dubbed “Villa Zimbabwe” in Malabo, the capital, will exclusively be used by Mnangagwa every time he is in the country, the Herald reported.

Maxwell Ranga, Zimbabwe’s west African envoy, said the home was a testament to good relations between the two countries.

Mnangagwa is in Malabo with his foreign affairs minister, Frederick Shava, and finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, as well as numerous senior government officials.

Nguema was last in Zimbabwe in 2018 a year after the coup that dislodged his long-time friend, the late Robert Mugabe.

In 2004, during Mugabe’s reign, authorities thwarted a team of mercenaries led by Simon Mann and financed by Mark Thatcher, the former British prime minister’s son, who were on their way to execute a coup in Equatorial Guinea.

Since then, Zimbabwe has been a security advisor to Nguema, who has since pardoned 64 mercenaries recruited in South Africa drawn from the apartheid-era special forces 32 Battalion.

During the visit that ends on Thursday, the two leaders signed eight agreements, some of them to do with cooperation in sectors such as tourism, mining, and agriculture.