Sunday, July 10, 2016

SADC AUC Candidate Meets President Mugabe
July 8, 2016
Herald Reporter

The Sadc candidate for the African Union Commission chairperson, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi of Botswana, paid a courtesy call on President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday.

She is Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Mrs Moitoi who said she was here to brief President Mugabe, the immediate past chairperson of both the African Union and Sadc, about her campaign ahead of the elections for the post at the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU scheduled for Kigali, Rwanda next week.

Sadc chose Minister Moitoi as its candidate following an announcement by incumbent AU Commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that she would not seek re-election after her first term of office came to an end last month.

Speaking to the media after the closed-door meeting, Minister Moitoi said she came to brief President Mugabe about her campaign and to tap into his wisdom as a senior statesman in the region.

“We are an African nation, a cultural people,” said Minister Moitoi who was accompanied by her campaign team.

“I thought it was proper that before we go to Kigali, I must come and brief the President (Mugabe) about the progress we have made so far on the campaign.

“To give him the necessary honour as the senior statesman in the region because I am their candidate. To tell him how we have been campaigning. What the campaign looks like, what my views are, where we need assistance and what kind of advice he may wish to give us because they are older in politics and they know what we should do. I don’t want to be embarrassing anyone when I am doing the campaign.”

Minister Moitoi said she had been to several countries even outside Sadc seeking their support.

She expressed satisfaction with their support adding that a Ghanaian candidate running for the deputy chairperson post endorsed her and committed to contest as her running mate.

Mrs Dlamini-Zuma, who was a Sadc-sponsored candidate won the AU Commission chairperson post in 2012, becoming the first Southern African to head the AU Commission.

As per the AU Commission constitution, a chairperson could serve for two four-year terms but Mrs Dlamini-Zuma decided against running for the second term amid indications that she wanted to rejoin active politics in South Africa.

Minister Moitoi has served in various capacities in the Botswana Government, including as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications and Minister of Trade, Industry, Wildlife and Tourism.

A former journalist, she has also served as Minister of Communications, Science, and Technology, and Minister of Education.

Minister Moitoi was selected as the sole Sadc-sponsored candidate ahead of two other candidates from Malawi and South Africa.

Minister Moitoi could face stiff competition from candidates from other regions among them East African Community representatives, Dr Specioza Kazibwe who is Uganda’s former Vice President, Mr Agapito Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea, and Mr Abdoulaye Bathily from Senegal (Economic Community of West African States).

No comments: