By J.J. Kioria.
With the announcement last week by President Uhuru Kenyatta that Kenya would offer her foreign affairs cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed for the position of chairperson of the African Union commission, intense lobbying has begun to ensure the decorated diplomat replaces South African Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Even before the announcement was made, Kenya had already started lobbying even though it did not offer a candidate for the same position in the botched elections of July after the candidates failed to garner two-thirds of the vote.
According to State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu, President Jacob Zuma who is set to begin his state visit to Kenya this week is among those who have pledged support for Ambassador Mohammed’s candidature.
The African Union will from October send the names of the candidates who include Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, Equitorial Guinea Foreign Affairs Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily to all member states ahead of the January elections.
The Commission will circulate candidatures to all AU Members States on or before 14th October, order to meet the requirement that nominee’s names be circulated at least three months before the election.
President Kenyatta is confident Ambassador Mohammed will be elected as chairperson owing to her successful diplomatic career.
Meanwhile, the punitive immigration rules, security and the export of Kenya’s agricultural produce will form the crux of bilateral talks between President Kenyatta and his guest President Jacob Zuma.
Kenyans seeking to do business in South Africa have been complaining that South Africa’s immigration rules as well as the hustle of securing a business permit has largely inhibited trade between the two African power houses.