President Mnangagwa jets off to Angola
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to visit Angola this Friday as part of ongoing diplomatic efforts to seal international endorsement of the controversial power transfer in Harare.
This comes as the Zimbabwean leader’s foremost critic, former higher education minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo took to the BBC’s international HARDtalk programme in his campaign against Mnangagwa’s administration which he describes as illegitimate.
The Luanda visit comes after a claimed one-day private trip to South Africa last Saturday which the Harare government did not announce.
Efforts confirm the SA trip were not successful but sources insisted that Mnangagwa was seen leaving Robert Mugabe airport in Harare using a Leah jet around 4pm.
Meanwhile, the Civil Affairs Office of the Angolan presidency on Wednesday confirmed Mnangagwa’s 24-hour visit to Luanda.
The Zimbabwean leader will hold talks with Angolan counterpart President Joao Lourenco on the political situation in Harare as well as preparations for general elections due this year.
President Lourenco is current chairman of the regional SADC grouping.
Like, Mnangagwa, President Laurenco, took over power last year from long-serving predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos who had ruled Angola for 38 years.
However, the leadership transition in Luanda was smooth with Dos Santos voluntarily stepping down in August and Laurenco winning subsequent elections as presidential candidate for the ruling MPLA party.
Mnangagwa’s takeover was a rather messy affair however. A long-serving loyalist of the now-93-year-old Mugabe, the then vice president was suddenly fired from government and the ruling Zanu PF party in November 2017.
He escaped to South Africa, reportedly walking 30 kilometres through Mozambique, after being warned that his life was in danger.
Nicknamed ‘The Crocodile’ Mnangagwa told Mugabe that he would be back in the country to take over as State president and leader of Zanu PF within two weeks.
And sure enough, two weeks later a military revolt forced Mugabe to resign with Mnangagwa taking over power.
However, the new administration working to seal win international endorsement amid, charges accusations by critics that the power transfer was a military coup and the resultant government illegitimate.