Inside Politics

Mudavadi warns leaders against undermining Raila’s AU job bid, says it is of national interest

Sunday, March 24th, 2024 12:42 | By
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi. PHOTO/@MusaliaMudavadi/X

Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Musalia Mudavadi has warned leaders against undermining Raila Odinga's bid for African Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship.

Speaking during a thanksgiving and prayer service at Dominion Chapel Kimuka in Kajiado County on Sunday, March 24, 2023, Mudavadi said Raila's bid is of national interest and should be supported by all.

"Please let us take this issue of the African Union Commission chairmanship more seriously than we are taking it. It is in our national interest. That is my plea to you and I hope what I have said will resonate with all reasonable men and women of this country so that we can focus and get our act together. Be careful (about Raila’s AUC chairmanship bid) because what you say may undermine our national interest," Mudavadi said.

Mudavadi has been leading diplomacy shuttles to woo support for Raila's candidacy, which was announced in February.

He has visited several African countries to bid for support for the former Prime Minister including lobbying the African Union Executive Council to assert the right of the Eastern Africa region to produce the next Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

In a statement on Friday, March 15, 2025, the executive said the region will be the only one submitting candidates for the position.

"The African Union Executive Council today unanimously adopted a critical decision that it is the turn of the Eastern Africa region to submit candidates for the position of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC). The elections will be held in February 2025," the statement read in part.

So far, two candidates from the region have registered interest in the seat, including Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga and Somalia's former Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Adam.

“This is a major breakthrough for the Eastern Africa region to present candidates for the position of Chairperson of the AUC,” Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi said.

Mudavadi, who actively lobbied for the adoption of the decision during the 22nd Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU, said the decision aligns with what Kenya has been pushing for.

"The decision is in accordance with the Statute of the AU Commission, the Rules of Procedure of the African Union policy organs and the decisions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government," the statement added.

No hurdles for Raila

Immediately after the decision, Mudavadi announced that there would be no technical and legal issues barring the former Prime Minister from contesting for the seat.

“It is now clear that the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga will be in the race for the AU Commission Chairperson. Effectively, there are no more technical or legal hurdles preventing Kenya from submitting its candidate,” Mudavadi added.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO/Print
Opposition leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO/Print

The decision also provides that the Northern Africa region will front candidates for the Deputy Chairperson while the other three regions, Central, Southern and Western, will compete for the six positions of commissioners.

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