The Herald Harare Tendai Mugabe
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Senegalese Minister of State responsible for Monitoring the Plan for an emerging Senegal (Senegal Economic Blueprint) Abdoul Aziz Tall, yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Mugabe at State House to drum up support for his country’s candidate for the post of African Union Commission chairperson, Professor Bathily Abdoulaye. The second round of AUC chairperson elections will be held at the end of next month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after all the contesting candidates failed to garner the required votes in January.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa is currently holding fort. She is not seeking re-election.

Mr Tall told journalists after meeting President Mugabe that he delivered a special message to the President from his Senegalese counterpart President Macky Sall seeking Zimbabwe’s support for their candidate.

“I have met the President of Zimbabwe, President Mugabe over a message from his friend and brother His Excellency Macky Sall. The message is about the candidate of Senegal for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission,” he said.

“The elections will be held in January next year and we need to have the help of the Zimbabwean Government during this election.” Mr Tall said they were soliciting for support from various African countries ahead of the elections that would also coincide with the African Union Summit.

“From here, we are going to Luanda and after that we are going to Windhoek (Namibia) and we are just coming from West African countries and we hope that everything will go for us.”

Other candidates vying for the post are Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Kenya), Moussa Faki Mahamat (Chad), Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi (Botswana) and Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea.

The commission would have 10 members including the deputy chair and eight commissioners. Zimbabwe has two candidates who are also vying for positions in the AUC. The two are Dr Hesphina Rukato who is vying for the post of political affairs commissioner and Dr Pride Chigwedere who is eyeing the post of social affairs commissioner.

In the first round of the elections, only three candidates contested and all failed to garner the required two thirds majority votes. The three were former Ugandan Vice President Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, (Botswana Foreign Minister) and Agapito Mba Mokuy, Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister.

During that election, the Botswana candidate got 16 votes, Equatorial Guinea, 12 votes, and Uganda’s candidate got 11 votes.