After four years at the helm of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s time in Addis Ababa has come to an end. As the African Union gathers for its 27th summit in Kigali this month, high on the agenda will be finding Nkosazana’s successor. Much anticipation looms on whether the election will be held and any of the candidates will receive the required vote to win.
To ensure that its candidate Dr. Specioza Wandera Kazibwe wins the race, Uganda has backed the ex Vice President’s campaign with a whooping investment to the tune of more than a billion Uganda shillings. The move is a statement of intent from the Ugandan government as Uganda seeks to increase its clout on the continent. However, some Ugandans have criticized the government’s move as unnecessarily extravagant with no guaranteed success.
Foreign Affairs Minister Honorable Sam Kutesa has rushed to the government’s defense clarifying that the amount is not as staggering as it has been perceived.
“How much is that? It is just one billion and our opponents have invested over $10B to win the race and you are here complaining,” said the Minister who justified Uganda’s intentions thus, “We must look for that post because we are members and we want to lead Africa at least.”
The Minister vehemently disagreed with the notion that the investment is a waste of tax payers’ money.
“If we win that post we can have our country advertised and this attracts more investors. Can’t that money be used to construct some roads or used to facilitate our hospitals? That is too little money, have you ever constructed a road yourself? That one billion in Uganda can only construct one kilometer of road just,” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.
Many will question the timing of the bid and its significance while others will question, “Why sponsor Specioza Kazibwe’s Africa Union ambitions when Sam Kutesa’s exploits at the United Nations were treated otherwise in the recent past?”
Does Uganda stand to benefit? Only time will tell. The Foreign Affairs Minister criticized the journos and accused them of not being patriotic, “I think you are not patriotic if you are criticizing the government on giving away that money. I can’t waste my time with you. What do you think the likes of South Africa received?” he retorted.