As the race for the African Union’s top job is heating up, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto has asked Malawi to support Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed during the 28th Summit of the African Union (Au) later this month.
The Summit, to be held at the AU’s Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme ‘harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth’, is expected to elect a new Chairperson for the AU Commission.
Ruto, who held private talks with President Peter Mutharika at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre Tuesday evening, is part of the seven-member team President Uhuru Kenyatta instituted to run a lobbying campaign for Mohamed ahead of the summit.
According to inside sources, the purpose of Ruto’s special visit to Malawi was to request Mutharika to rally behind Kenya’s candidacy at the Summit, which will run from 22nd to 31st January.
“They [Mutharika and Ruto] discussed a number of issues aimed at cementing the relationship existing between the countries. Having said that, the Kenyan Vice President primarily came to ask Malawi to support the candidate fielded by Kenya,” said the source.
Candidates contesting to replace outgoing Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma of South Africa are Hon Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi of Botswana, Hon Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad, Hon Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea, Hon Dr Amina C Mohamed of Kenya, and Dr Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal.
The current AU chief, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be stepping down after refusing a second four year term in office.
And speaking to journalists before departure Tuesday night, Ruto said the existing cordial relationship between Malawi and Kenya will enhance inter African Trade for the betterment of the two countries and Africa as a whole.
He said as members of the African Union, the two countries can collectively enhance development in various sectors.