News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Chad, Kenya clash over AU Chairmanship

Chad’s Foreign Minister Faki Mahamat, Facebook photo.

Chad is set to clash with Kenya over the Chairmanship of African Union (AU) Commission following the country’s nomination of its Foreign Affairs Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Kenya had earlier nominated its Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed for the plum job.

Kenya’s Amina Mohammed jostling for AU’s prime office.

Chad has started reaching out to other member states of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) to support the bid.

Chadian Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke said he was the bearer of a sealed message from Ndjamena to Yaoundé in relation to Mr Mahamat’s candidature for the AU top job.

President Idriss Deby’s emissary told the media that the Chadian leader believes that Mr Mahamat’s victory would be for the whole of the Central Africa sub-region, Africa Review said on Wednesday.

Mr Padacke arrived Yaoundé from Malabo, where he was hosted by the Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on Monday.

The 56-year-old Mr Mahamat, who has been serving as the Sahel nation’s Foreign Affairs minister since 2008, was the country’s Prime Minister from June 2003 to February 2005.

Though the tenure of South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has been at the commission’s helm since 2012 has expired, her successor would only be known after the election slated for January 2017.

A vote in Kigali, Rwanda, during the 27th Heads of State Assembly in July failed after none of the three candidates – Bostwana’s FM Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, her counterpart from Equatorial Guinea Agapito Mba Mokuy and former Vice President of Uganda, Specioza Wandira Kazibwe – collected the two-thirds of the votes required to win.

Member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) abstained from the July ballot amidst concerns about the quality of the candidates.

The three candidates are eligible to run again but Uganda has already withdrawn Ms Kazibwe’s name from nominations that closed on September 30.

Dr Moitoi, who topped the July polling with 23 votes after seven rounds of balloting, is expected to be on the list of new nominees to be released later this month, maintaining her position as the official candidate of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).