Tanzania, Kenya, Algeria defend Kazibwe for AU Commission Chair

Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Mahiga backs Kazibwe
Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Mahiga has backed former Uganda vice president Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe for the chairperson of the African Union Commission.

“We back Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe solidly and encourage you all to support her,” Mahiga told her counterparts meeting in Kigali on Friday.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Amina Mohammed, expressed the same solidarity.

“Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe has served the sub-region, served the region and the globe, it’s time for her to be the Chairperson of the African Union Commission,” Amina said.

Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister, H.E. Ramamtane Ramamra re-echoed Hon. Kutesa’s remarks saying postponement of elections would amount to breaking of African Union rules.

“It would send a wrong message to Africa’s people that we break the organisation’s rules.”

On H.E. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe’s candidature, Minister Ramamra said: “We support her. She meets all requirements to be elected Chairperson of the African Union Commission.”

Earlier, Uganda Foreign minister Hon. Sam Kutesa introduced Dr Wandira as the Eastern African candidate to AU Foreign Affairs Ministers who were attending the breakfast meeting.

“Dr. Wandira has impeccable Pan-African credentials. She is a team player and meticulous worker. She is also clearly a fantastic administrator. She will make a very good Chairperson of the African Union Commission,” Kutesa said.

Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister, H.E. Ramamtane Ramamra also backs Kazibwe
On reported calls to postpone election of members of the African Union Commission, the Minister said: “We cannot break our rules. The integrity of our organisation (African Union) will be judged on how we conduct ourselves in accordance with the rules.”

The former vice president is running against Agapito Mba Mokuy, 51, the Foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea also the choice of Central Africa and Southern African Development Community [SADC]’s Dr Pelomi Venson Moitoi, 65, the Foreign Affairs minister of Botswana.

South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is not running for a second term.

The current Deputy Chairperson, and two other commissioners second mandate ends and are not eligible for re-elections, while the remaining six commissioners can still contest, reports CCTV.

The positions of the chairperson, deputy chairperson and four commissioners (Political Affairs; Human Resources, Science and Technology; Infrastructure and Energy; and Rural Economy and Agriculture) are open, reported the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria in a recent article.
Amina, Kutesa and Kazibwe in Kigali
CCTV says a number of influential Africans approached the AUC arguing that the submission process should be re-opened in order to accept new candidates of a higher calibre.

However, if new candidates are to be accepted, the elections would have to be postponed until January 2017 and this would require consensus among the various African states and their respective governments to change the rules that govern the elections.

Postponement of the elections would result in the new commission only taking up its responsibilities in March 2017, three months after the January 2017 Summit.

And there are suggestions that the vote could be postponed for another six months, due to a lack of so-called “competent contenders”.

Source: theinsider.ug