A new video has emerged showing Michael Jackson meeting President Robert Mugabe on a secret trip to Zimbabwe.
The footage – which has never been seen before – shows the King of Pop with the fawning Zimbabwean leader and his wife Grace.
The video was shot in the State House in Harare and leaked to a member of the public by a former member of the Zimbabwean state security.
The controversial November 1998 meeting was organised in order for the star to discuss ideas for the development of a hotel in Victoria Falls.
But it never went ahead so the video has remained under wraps until now.
In the footage, Mugabe can be seen greeting Jackson warmly as he steps out of a red BMW with his security detail circling.
Jacko then kisses the hand of Mugabe’s second wife Grace, before being led inside the compound.
In the video Mugabe says: “They would want to see if Zimbabwe, and especially the Victoria Falls, qualifies for a hotel, they want to establish a whole chain of hotels across the world, I suppose it’s a Michael Jackson chain.
“And they say they have uplifted Las Vegas and they want to see if they can uplift the Vic Falls as well.
“So they are going to look at that…they think we have a good chance. But they didn’t make any firm promises.”
Mugabe was finally deposed in 2017 after 37 years in charge of Zimbabwe, during which time he ruthlessly disposed of opponents and brought the country’s economy to its knees.
During the surreal encounter he heaps praise on the singer, who’s wearing his signature sunglasses and hat.
“We are very receptive, after all Michael Jackson is a favourite of all youngsters, my boy sings Michael Jackson, he wants to be like Michael Jackson,” says Mugabe.
“Every young boy wants to be like Michael Jackson. If that can bring us also his hotels and his capital here we would be grateful, extremely grateful for it.”
After the unlikely rendezvous the singer steps back into the BMW and struggles to close a wobbling window in the back of the car.
Jackson arrived in Zimbabwe without any advanced publicity and refused to talk to the media on the trip, it was reported at the time.
The star – who died in 2009 – reportedly came with a delegation from US-based United Pacific Holdings Group, in which he had a financial interest.
The source who leaked the footage said: “The video was taken on old tape and was never released to the media.
“Michael Jackson refused to speak with journalists during the trip and it was not publicized in advance. The hotel was never built, so the footage was never released.”
Mugabe wed his former secretary Grace Marufu, who was 41 years his junior, in 1996, following the death of his first wife, Sally, in 1992.
He died on September 6, 2019 at the age of 95 after battling ill health in a five-star hospital in Singapore. – The Sun.