As Museveni ally, Kazibwe gets loud rejection
By Ada Anioji
The contest to get a replacement for outgoing AU president, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ended in a stalemate at the weekend but not without Botswana candidate, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi demonstrating a strong though inconclusive lead.
In the process however, the race was whittled down to two surviving contenders as former Uganda vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and strong ally of President Yoweri Museveni, was eliminated from the race for the plum position of African Union Commission chairperson.
Kazibwe got the least votes, leaving Botswana Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, and Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy to tussle it out in the next round.
Results show that Kazibwe polled 11 votes, Pelomi Venson 16 and Agapito Mba Mokuy, 12. The African Union meeting in Kigali has therefore postponed the process of choosing the new helmsman of the Commission since none of the candidates got the required two-third majority votes.
Botswana’s candidate Moitoi who got the most votes in the first round, still scored the highest in second round but did not get the required two-third majority.
According to AU rules, the winning candidate must obtain two-thirds of member states’ votes. According to the rules, if no one wins this majority in the first round, the candidate with least votes will be knocked out and a second round held.
If a two thirds majority is still not obtained in the second round, the election is suspended pending another vote and an interim chairperson appointed.
The chairperson and deputy chairperson are elected by heads of states or their representatives at the summit. Underscoring the import of the position as well as the serious consideration given it by the embattled Ugandan president, uncomfirmed reports say that Uganda had reportedly committed Shs 3.5 billion to Kazibwe’s campaign.