Africa Rejects Dictators' Nominees for Top AU Job

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Kazibwe--rejected for AU top job

African leaders rejected representatives of two dictators who wanted to succeed Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as executive chair of the African Union while a third candidate and top vote-getter failed to win the two-thirds required.

So the African Union Commission postponed until January the vote for the new chairperson to replace Dr. Dlamini-Zuma whose term expired. Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete's name has emerged as a potential leader when the vote is held next year.

Uganda's candidate former vice president Dr. Specioza Kazibwe who has been dogged by links to corruption got 11 votes, the lowest of all candidates. An online petition was also launched urging African presidents to reject Kazibwe's candidacy and her former associates in Uganda reportedly circulated in key African capitals a dossier detailing the corruption cases against her.

Additionally, an influential veteran New York-based Nigerian publisher, Dr. Chika Onyeani, lobbied West African presidents to reject candidates from Uganda and Equatorial Guinea, countries ruled by dictators, Gen. Yoweri Museveni and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

It is a stinging blow for Museveni as his regime reportedly spent more than $1 million in a futile lobbying campaign. Agapito Mba Mokuy, the Equatorial Guinea foreign minister won 12 votes. Dr. Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, foreign minister of Botswana won the most votes, 16. However that fell way short of the two-thirds of votes by African leaders.

So after the first round the African Union Commission postponed until January the vote for the new AU executive chair. The African Union Commission has not yet released an official statement. If African leaders had insisted on carrying on with a second round vote it would have been a run-off between candidates Mokuy and Dr. Moitoi, the two top vote-getters.

Under Dr. Dlamini Zuma, the AU's global stature has grown as it promoted Agenda2063 an ambitious program for Africa's economic integration and industrialization. She has been in office since 2014.

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