Cable: Branson was to fund plan to remove Mugabe

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2011 3:58 PM
Cable: Branson was to fund plan to remove Mugabe

Virgin Group boss Richard Branson had plans to bankroll a diplomatic move aimed at persuading Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down, according to a cable published by WikiLeaks.

According to the U.S. Embassy cable, Branson agreed to fund the plan, which was proposed by former Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo in July 2007.

The cable, signed by Ambassador Eric Bost, said Branson was due to hold a secret meeting with Nelson Mandela and other African statesmen in Johannesburg to discuss the move.

The plan never materialized.

A spokesman for Branson confirmed Tuesday that he was approached by Moyo to discuss the formation of a coalition government in 2007.

But the spokesman said "no further action was taken" after the meeting.