HomeNewsMugabe bunks UN indaba, meets Equatorial Guinea leader

Mugabe bunks UN indaba, meets Equatorial Guinea leader


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe reportedly skipped a key meeting to discuss proposals to reform the United Nations and instead privately met with his long-time pal, Equatorial Guinean leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, NewsDay has learnt.


Mugabe has previously been at the centre of the African call for reform of the UN, but surprisingly, he missed the crucial meeting and chose instead to have a bilateral discussion with Nguema, whose oil-rich country has at times come to the Zanu PF leader’s rescue.

“He (Mugabe) did not attend the reform meeting as well as another indaba that discussed the South Sudan problem. The President chose to meet Nguema at the same time,” sources attending the annual UN gathering in New York said.

Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and permanent secretary Joey Bimha were not available for comment yesterday. Mugabe was expected to address the General Assembly last night.

In 2015, Mugabe told a conference in Indonesia that Africa and Asia should look for alternative ways of having their voices heard “given the obstinacy of the UN”.

Details of Mugabe’s meeting with Nguema were not available yesterday, but the two have a close friendship, which blossomed in March 2004 after Zimbabwe intelligence officers at Harare International Airport impounded a plane which had flown in from South Africa carrying coup plotters led by former British Special Air Service officer Simon Mann.

Since then Nguema has visited Harare every year and at one point bailed out Mugabe’s broke administration with over $200 million.

Mugabe and Nguema have also strengthened military co-operation.

In his address to this week’s meeting, UN secretary-general António Guterres said the global body was ready to reform, while the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called for more countries to support the agenda.

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