Govt's Ksh400 Million Gamble That Backfired

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed in Kuwait, ahead of Afro-Arab Summit 2013 File
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spent close to half a billion shillings during Kenya's 2017 campaign to make CS Amina Mohamed the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).

    As first reported by the Daily Nation on Monday, December 9, a report presented in Parliament showed that the ministry spent Ksh437.8 million for the bid exceeding the set expenditure by Ksh 52.1 million. 

    While appearing before Parliament, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Macharia Kamau, explained that the ministry had planned for Ksh385.7 million for the entire campaign. 

    "This difference relates to the AUC campaigns conducted by the deputy president and were initially charged under the AUC campaign funds, but were later transferred to state visits expenditure,"  the PS is quoted on the Daily Nation.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta lobbying for CS Amina Mohammed for  African Union Chairmanship
    President Uhuru Kenyatta holding talks with Togolese President H.E Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe on the sidelines of the Lome Conference 2016

    In the highly-contested vote in January 2017 that took seven rounds, the now Sports CS lost to her Chad Foreign Affairs counterpart, Moussa Faki Mahamat, ending a quest that President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration had heavily invested in. 

    A report by The Standard on February 1, 2017, indicated that a number of East African Countries undermined her candidature, reneging on their promise to back her bid at the last minute.  

    James Morgan, South Sudan's Ambassador to Ethiopia was quoted by the publication arguing that Kenya failed to convince her closest allies in East Africa to vote for Amina. Morgan revealed that Uganda, Djibouti, Tanzania and Burundi failed to vote for Kenya, with the latter accusing Kenya f interfering with its internal affairs especially for condemning conflict witnessed in the country at the time. 

    Issues of gender also did Amina Mohammed great disservice as the previous AUC chairperson, Nkosazana Zuma, was a woman and many West African countries reportedly felt it would not have been fair for another woman to succeed her. 

    In an interview with The Standard, Amina appeared to blame the Francophone-Anglophone divide in Africa for her loss based since the Francophone countries reportedly voted as a team as opposed to English-Speaking Africa that Kenya belongs to. 

    "Africa is divided along language lines even though the languages don't belong to us. Yet the authors of those languages do not fight among themselves," she is quoted by The Standard.

    Cabinet Secretary for Sports - CS Amina Mohammed
    Former Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed speaking during the UNCTAD in Nairobi, 2016