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Raila and Uhuru in the race for AU top job, Commission chairperson

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga reportedly eying a top African Union job as AU Commission chairperson.

Raila and Uhuru according to reports are seeking to replace Moussa Faki of Chad as the new AU Commission chairperson.

The AU Commission chairperson seat is set to fall vacant next year.

However, according to reports, Uhuru is said to have reportedly accepted to drop his candidature in favour of Raila who is banking on his international networks to get the job.

Any candidate for the AU top job must be fronted by member states and therefore, a Raila or Uhuru candidature must have the endorsement of President William Ruto’s administration.

Ruto’s fronting of Raila for the continental job would radically shift the country’s political landscape as it would almost amount to “a handshake”.

The head of the African Union must remain impartial in all political disputes throughout the continent.

The position of chair of the AU Commission is a significant one, almost equivalent to head of state status.

The office holder plays a significant role in important worldwide events such as elections, conflicts, and global development, not only in Africa. 

Sources said a deal to have Raila replace Faki could have been hammered in July last year that paved the way for the bi-partisan talks.

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Meanwhile, responding on the same to the press, Raila’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango however said he was unaware of any plans by the state to front Raila as the country’s nominee.

“I am not aware of the plans,” he said.

A former senior official who worked in Uhuru’s administration said that even though Uhuru Kenyatta fits the bill, he has not been approached by the government of the day.

“We have very good people considered to be statesmen like the Aminas of this world (ex-Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed) and of course, Uhuru Kenyatta, already doing international diplomacy,” he said on condition of anonymity.

He went on; “Kenya has never had the opportunity to provide leadership in the African continent, it is vindictive of the dysfunction in our own diplomacy and political process that we have never been able to put up a viable candidate.”

In 2017, Amina contested against Faki but flopped.

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