File picture: Reuters
File picture: Reuters

Who calls the shots at African Union?

By Opinion Time of article published Jul 29, 2021

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The South African government came out in the open and distanced itself from the readmission of Zionist Israel to observer status at the African Union. In a statement published on Wednesday, the South African government said the “unjust and unwarranted” move was taken “unilaterally without consultations with its members”.

We have all along been lamenting the fact that the way certain decisions have been taken at the continental bloc smacks of something very wrong indeed. Starting with the readmission of colonialist Morocco to the AU, before it fulfils all the UN resolutions that calls for a complete withdrawal of Morocco from Western Sahara.

We have seen this repeatedly happening ever since the Francophone countries took over the rotating leadership. The departure of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma ushered in a Mafia kind of leadership at the headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The colossal blunder to admit a colonial entity can no longer be seen as a mistake; it has all the hallmarks of a well-coordinated plan to put certain people in positions of authority. Which means that those who have ascended to positions of authority in Addis Ababa need to be investigated, and questions asked of how they ascended to power.

How can “Heads of States” not know of such kinds of decisions? The revelation by the South African government that “Heads of States” were not consulted, has indeed sent shock waves that point to the lack of accountability at the AU. Decisions that are taken on behalf of the whole continent should be thoroughly debated before they are implemented.

We need to ask hard questions to those who are running the continental block and demand answers. By behaving like they are democratically elected leaders by the people of Africa, they have no right whatsoever to admit a colonial state like Israel. Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat must be told by the heads of states that he has overstepped the mandate given to him.

Given the kind of leadership that is currently at the helm at the AU, the continent's pressing issues, including elimination of poverty, refugees, and migration, resulting from external interference, will remain unattained.

It is clear that there are many things going on at the AU that we don’t know about. Our leaders need to strengthen the reporting and accountability mechanisms at the AU, and those working in the AU administration must be monitored closely.

Let us all rally behind the call by the South African government which is demanding an explanation on how that decision was arrived at without the knowledge of the “Heads of States”. Decisions such as this one which gave colonialist Israel the observer status are normally clouded in corruption of the highest order, which is accompanied by huge sums of money exchanging hands.

Imperialist countries are known to exploit weak governments via corruption. It is especially easy because they find some of our leaders ready to cooperate with them. Many of our leaders are willing partners with western countries in this corruption, which brings shame on the whole continent. It is true that the most corrupt on our continent are those in positions of authority.

We call upon the South African government to call for a commission of inquiry of the highest order to really get to the bottom of how this decision was reached. And let the people of Africa know what really transpired. Heads should roll at the AU in Addis Ababa.

* Dr Mustafa Mheta is Head of Africa Desk at the Media Review Network

** The opinions expressed don’t necessarily reflect those of IOL.

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