The race has attracted five candidates in total. The other three are Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy, Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat and Senegal’s Prof Abdoulaye Bathily, currently the UN representative in the Central Africa Republic.
Tanzania has pledged to support Kenya’s candidate for the post of AU Commission chairperson in the coming elections.
A dispatch from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Dar es Salaam would support Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed in what appears to be Tanzania’s departure from the resolution issued by the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).
“Tanzania’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga, who is also the chairperson of the East Africa Council of Ministers reaffirmed Tanzania’s and East Africa’s commitment to Kenya’s African Union Commission chairperson candidacy,” said the statement last evening.
“He was emphatic that Ambassador Amina Mohamed was the candidate best suited for the position. He added that Amina Mohamed’s diplomatic prowess and leadership capability was critical to building consensus and generating agreement around issues of interest to Africa.”
Tanzania had last month, alongside Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi endorsed Ms Mohamed.
Ministers Sam Kutesa (Uganda), Aimable Otis (Burundi) and Louise Mushikiwabo (Rwanda) announced in Nairobi that they would lobby other African heads of state to back her candidature.
Dr Mahiga was represented by the country’s head of chancery at its High commission in Nairobi, Talha Mohamed.
Tanzania’s affirmation could calm fears in Nairobi especially since the country is also a member of the Sadc, a bloc that had pledged to support Ms Mohamed’s rival for the post: Botswana’s Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, the only other female contender.