EQUATORIAL Guinea President and close friend to former President Robert Mugabe reportedly told the ousted leader to count his blessings for having his life spared during the November coup that saw the last of the veteran leader’s 37 year rule.
This is according to a local weekly which quoted sources privy to Mugabe’s meeting with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who flew into the country last week to meet his old friend.
Mugabe was ousted November last year when the military seized control of government and pressured him to resign.
When he resisted a voluntary exit, his military captors threatened to withdraw his security and allow protesting citizens angered by his dictatorial rule to come and yank him from his home with possible disastrous consequences.
But Nguema reportedly told his old friend he should instead be relieved his allies turned enemies did not entertain plans to lynch him during dramatic events of November.
He (Nguema) reportedly said: “you (Mugabe) must be thankful my brother that these people left you alive and you are still at your home.”
Nguema, a former military lieutenant, knew exactly what he was talking about, having ascended to his job after overthrowing his own uncle August 1979 in a bloody coup, immediately placing him on trial for genocide and executing him by firing squad a month later.
During their meeting at the Blue Roof, Mugabe’s private home, the ex-Zimbabwean leader reportedly expressed his frustrations with the Emmerson Mnangagwa regime for allegedly ill-treating him but rejected an offer by Nguema to grant him exile if he felt he was not welcome in Zimbabwe.
The Equatorial Guinea leader is further said to have pleaded with his 94 year-old friend to abandon his support of the opposition for fear of stretching the patience of the new government that has been honourable enough to grant him his freedom in the wake of his ouster.
“He was told that he should make amends with the current regime and stop working with the opposition as this was destroying his legacy.
“He was also told that Nguema would raise his complaints with Mnangagwa but most importantly, he must not fight them as this would affect his family interests.”
Mugabe has endorsed the newly formed National Patriotic Front which comprises his axed Zanu PF followers and is seen as an attempt to divide the ruling party’s support in elections due this July.
Mnangagwa on Saturday told a memorial service at his farm in Masvingo that he harboured no ill feelings against those who abused and humiliated him when he was still Vice President.
Nguema remains one of Africa’s strongmen having now led the oil producing country for nearly 39 years while surviving some coup attempts one of which was stifled by Mugabe back in 2005.