Kenya hopes for CS Amina victory as AU picks commission chair

Foreign affairs Cs Amina Mohammed at post world leader forum briefing in Nairobi on July 18. PHOTO/ENOS TECHE.
Kenya today locks horns with Africa’s regional blocs for the position of the AU Commission chairperson at an election President Uhuru Kenyatta has invested in heavily and lobbied the support of 35 countries.

Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed is in the race for the position. “Pray for me,” she told the Kenyan press on the sidelines of the 28th AU Summit in Ethiopia. Uhuru left on Saturday for the Summit.

He was expected to offer moral support to Amina. The AUC chairperson is the chief accountant of the union and the spokesperson of the organisation with regard to how the AU relates to other international bodies such as the United Nations and the EU.

Critics have dismissed campaigns for Mohamed’s bid as a waste of public resources.

“Amina has failed badly in her docket as the Foreign Affairs CS. She has failed to come up with a roadmap on foreign relations and cannot pick a single business opportunity she has negotiated for the country,” ICPC executive director Ndung’u Wainaina said.

He said the investments and attention directed to her campaign were a clear indication of the selfish interests of the business elites targeting opportunities in Africa and beyond.

The opposition and civil society warn the Jubilee administration is fighting for the position so it can endorse its leadership after the August 8 poll if it loses.

“The AU has become bold and strong and they want her in that position to manipulate other states. However, while Kenya is hiding under the EAC, they don’t know global dynamics on how to negotiate with other regional and continental blocs,” Ndung’u said.

Cord leader Raila Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango said, “I doubt a responsible leader would attend a regional meeting on the same day his country has lost at least 50 soldiers in a battle with terrorists as happened to Kenya.”

Traditionally, the post rotates between Anglophone and Francophone countries. Incumbent chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is stepping down after declining a second four-year term.

Experts believe candidates from French-speaking Chad and Senegal are in prime position. Ecowas has only one candidate.


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