Storm in AU over alleged breaches, scandals

 

By Tasie Theodore

 

A storm is brewing in the African Union, AU over alleged breaches and scandals, The Difference can report.

In the unfolding development, staff at the Commission’s headquarters in Addis Ababa are accusing Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat of acting with impunity.

According to the contents of a memorandum, dated March 6 2020, Sabelo Mbokazi, the head of the AU Staff Association, has formally protested the ongoing state of affairs.

Apparently acting on the prompting of resolutions reached at an extraordinary meeting of the AU Staff Association that was held on February 28, the memo charges the chairperson to address issues related to his leadership style and conduct in office.

Sources say that the extraordinary meeting had been called to discuss a slew of grievances related to the working conditions of staff at the Commission’s headquarters.

One specific charge contained in the memo was about the recent confirmation of Hamza Sahal as head of human resources management at the commission.

“By and large the appointment is regarded by the staff as the manifestation of glaring cronyism and the total collapse of leadership which member states continue to underscore,” the workers opined.

But even more damning is the fact that they equally conclude that the Sahal affair is only a pointer to other failings by the Moussa Faki’s leadership.

“With you sitting at the helm of this organisation, the rules have been indiscriminately flouted and chaos prevails both at the headquarters and regional offices. The staff indicated that the moral fibre has decayed under your watch.”

It is expected that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who currently holds the rotating chairpersonship of the AU would weigh in on the matter soon with a view to ensuring that it does not cripple operations at the Commission, which is saddled with, among others, continuing to back up the processes leading to the full actualisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

It will be recalled that in February 2018, a member of the AU’s advisory board on corruption had resigned, after insisting that no effort was being made to tackle charges of widespread corruption in the commissiono. This was followed in November 2018, by Moussa Faki’s deputy, Thomas Kwesi-Quartey, reportedly calling him out for appointing a ‘crony’ to a coveted ambassadorial posting.

Again, in 2018, a panel of inquiry established to investigate allegations of sexual harassment within the organisation confirmed that indeed sexual harassment was rife within the organisation and named at least 40 individuals implicated in serious allegations of fraud, corruption, nepotism, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

One of those reportedly indicted is Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui but the Moussa Faki-led leadership of the Commission has simply not acted on the report!

 

 

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