President attends colourful Mbasogo inauguration

09 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
President attends colourful Mbasogo inauguration President Mnangagwa is welcomed by Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the latter’s inauguration ceremony in Malabo yesterday. — Picture: Joseph Nyadzayo

The Herald

Hebert Zharare in MALABO, Equatorial Guinea

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa was among high profile dignitaries from several countries who joined thousands of local people here yesterday to witness the inauguration of Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, for a sixth term in office.

Thousands of people who included heads of state and government and representatives of many countries witnessed the inauguration of one of Africa’s most popular presidents at a colourful ceremony punctuated with music, dance and military displays.

The Chief Justice of Equatorial Guinea officiated at the ceremony, where President Mbasogo was honoured with a 21-gun salute after delivering his acceptance speech in Spanish with his wife Ella by his side.

He represented the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, which garnered 405 910 votes that translate to 95 percent of the total votes cast to win a fresh mandate that will see him superintend over the oil rich country for the next seven years.

President Mbasogo beat rivals, Mr Andres Esono Ondo of the Convergence for Social Democracy who managed 2,31 percent of the total votes and Mr Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu of the Party for Social Democratic Coalition who managed just 0.68 percent of the total votes.

The harmonised elections were held last month to elect the president and members of parliament, alongside local government elections.

Originally, the parliamentary elections had been scheduled for November 2022 and presidential elections for 2023. However, in September 2022, the Equatorial Guinea parliament approved a proposal to merge the elections. Statistics show that since his first victory in 1979, President Mbasogo has never won an election by a margin less than 93 percent of the total votes cast and this time he had an overwhelming 95 percent.

The close to two million people in the oil-rich country have always given President Mbasogo the mandate to lead overwhelmingly.

Zimbabwe has strong and cordial relations with

Equatorial Guinea. The 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup detat attempt also known as the “Wonga Coup”, failed to topple President Mbasogo and replace him with exiled politician, Mr Severo Moto.

Some mercenaries reportedly organised mainly by some British funders and led by Simon Mann, were arrested in Zimbabwe on March 7, 2004 before they could carry out their plot in the central African state.

President Mnangagwa arrives at the inauguration ceremony of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Malabo yesterday

President Mnangagwa accepted the invitation to attend the inauguration as it dovetails with his Government’s agenda to accelerate its engagement and re-engagement with African states.

Africa has been with Zimbabwe in terms of the agenda for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and her allies due to a standoff over the land reform programme and so whenever there is an event involving an African state, Zimbabwe will make sure that it is represented at the highest level.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa yesterday left Malabo for Luanda, Angola where he will attend the 10th Summit of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACP).

At least 79 member states are expected to attend the summit which is being held from today to tomorrow (December 10). It is the first OACP meeting to be held after the transformation of the ACP group into an international organisation.

The theme of the summit is “Three Continents, Three Oceans, a Common Destiny: Building a Resilient and Sustainable OACP”, and Angola will assume the presidency of the organisation for the next three years during the meeting.

A source close to the summit said: “We are engaging the European Union as a bloc and we meet regularly to compare notes and discuss how best we can pursue our interests in our interaction with the European Union.

President Mnangagwa and other leaders follow proceedings at the inauguration ceremony of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (fourth from left) in Malabo yesterday. – Pictures: Joseph Nyadzayo

“There are financial issues that we expect to deal with because of late, the organisation has been having some challenges.”

Leaders are expected to discuss amongst other issues, the challenges of climate change including economic diversification and peace and security challenges.

They are also set to discuss the state of play on the implementation of the Revised Georgetown Agreement, consideration and adoption of the draft declaration and the date and venue of the 11th Summit of OACPS Heads of State and Government.

The 9th summit was held in December 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Since 1997, heads of state and government of members of the OACPS have been meeting regularly to lay down the broad guidelines for the general policy of the OACPS and give the Council of Ministers instructions related to its implementation.

The 79 OACP members have a combined population of 1,188 billion, a Gross Domestic Product of US$2,24 trillion, according to the organisation’s latest statistics of 2022. The size of the organisation’s population and the combined GDP makes it a formidable force in global economics.

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