Predictably Kenya’s foreign affairs cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed lost her bid to be elected to the top position of the African Union to Chad’s foreign affairs minister Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Muhamat scooped 38 votes to bag the seat while Mohamed trailed with only 28 votes losing after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto spent millions of shillings tax payers’ money.
The frantic shuttle diplomacy throughout the African continent trying to win over those countries to vote for her today January 30th, 2017 but clearly failed to make any impact as the result of the elections revealed at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
The end result is that the starving tax payers continue reeling from the massive pangs of hunger after losing millions of shillings wasted in the so called campaign to have Mohammed elected to the AU’s top seat.
The five candidates initially gunning for the African Union Commission Chairperson position included Botswana’s foreign minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister Agapito Mba Mokuy, Kenya’s foreign minister Amina Mohamed and Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye.
Indeed the Kenyan government has put up spirited and well-funded campaigns, with the President and his deputy leading the Shuttle diplomacy to pitch for Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mohammed to take over the AU Commission Chairperson seat.
When at the same time huge swathes of the country are badly reeling from hunger due the massive draught that is holding the country in a deadly stranglehold while the Jubilee government watches helplessly.
Amina was gunning for that post as the current chair South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s tenure is coming to end this month. The next chairperson will be tasked with seeing how agenda 2063 which was Dlamini Zuma’s blue print is implemented.
Among the aspirations of the blueprint is an Africa of good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.
Below are more details of our commentary late last year on why Mohammed was not suitable for the job, not to mention the fact apart from the farmine that is strangling the country, the Jubilee administration is still mired in multi-billion shillings corruption scandals some of which Deputy President Ruto is heavily implicated.
“Africa is also faced with the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, with terrorist groups such as Al Shabaab, The Lord Resistance Army, Boko Haram on rampage in making this another headache awaiting the next chairperson.
The President and his deputy are though faced with an avalanche of questions on whether the candidate they are drumming for across Africa is the right choice and a good move.
The candidate who is a lawyer, diplomat and politician is the current Kenyan Foreign Affairs cabinet Secretary who previously served as Ambassador/Permanent Representative Kenya Mission to the United Nations at Geneva from 2000-2006.
She also served as the Director of Europe and the Commonwealth in 2006 and 2007 and was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs in 2008.
Later, she served as United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at Nairobi before being called to serve in Uhuru Kenyatta’s government as Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
At least 35 of the 53 member countries will have to vote for her if she has to occupy the seat.
This begs the question, why does Kenya want to chair the AU Commission?
If Kenya really wants to chair why not promote the current Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha who is a Kenyan and accepted by all the 54 Heads of State and Government of the AU without any campaign and wastage of public resources? Will other countries accept a chairperson and deputy from the same country?
How does the government justify spending hundreds of millions on this campaign when we have Kenyans dying of hunger in Garissa, Marsabit, Pokot, Wajir, Mandera and many other corners of the country?
How will the AU chairperson seat be beneficial to Kenya? How has South Africa benefited over the last four years? How did Gabon benefit between 2008 and 2012? When it was known as OAU back in the day with former President Moi as the chair what was the benefit for Kenya?
It is a well-known fact that Ms Mohammed is not cut for the job from her interviews on CNN and Aljazeera she lacks every sense of the word diplomacy on how she has been responding on matters corruption and the war against Al-Shabaab to the handling of the UN-KDF soldier’s issue.
A real contrast to AU aspiration of good governance having her as the AU chairperson might be an ill-advised move. She would be worse than the outgoing Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who looked away as blood flowed in Burundi when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term in office.
And overseeing the resolution for withdrawal of AU members states from ICC in accordance to 2014 Malabo protocol without a proper justice system to handle ICC matters.
For Ms Mohammed’s case she has failed to bring back Kenyans who are languishing in South Sudan detention.
The President and his Deputy need to pause and reflect, The SADC countries will vote for their candidate just like EAC is doing to the Kenya Candidate same to ECOWAS. Kenya should stop procrastinating about getting support from COMESA.
She is highly unlikely to get votes from these regions which are also fielding candidates and for her to get about 35 votes it means that the other candidates have to give up the race for her”.
-Additional Reporting By Ekesa Okedi