African ambassadors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and African Union commissioners want President Mugabe to get a second term as chairman or be given a supreme role to help guide African leaders, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs has said.
In an interview with The Herald on Tuesday, committee chairperson Cde Kindness Paradza, who led a Zimbabwean delegation on a fact-finding mission to Ethiopia recently, said African diplomats and AU commissioners want the AU chairman, President Mugabe to be given a role to guide the current crop of African leaders in fulfilling outstanding goals of the AU.
Cde Paradza said that President Mugabe’s leadership was admired by the AU staff.
“The majority of African ambassadors in Addis Ababa and AU commissioners had a consensus that if it was possible, President Mugabe would be given a second term as chairman or assume any other supreme role to fulfil the Pan-African vision of the continental body,” he said.
Cde Paradza said when they were in Addis Ababa recently, they met African ambassadors who said if it was possible they wanted President Mugabe elected for a second term to fulfil his vision for Africa.
“They (African diplomats) want President Mugabe to fulfil the programmes he started, mostly his push to have Africa represented in the Security Coun- cil.”
He said that Cde Mugabe was credited for successfully spearheading a number of initiatives which brought back the AU on the world map in areas such as health where he chaired the Ebola high- level conference to curb the epidemic and the Sino-Africa Summit.
President Mugabe is also credited for his efforts in making the AU self-reliant by encouraging member states to pay their dues.
“It is now up to other heads of state to break the tradition and elect President Mugabe for a second term,” he said.
President Mugabe was appointed chairman of the 54-nation African Union last year in January.
Traditionally, the AU chairmanship is given to the leader of the country hosting the next summit, but exceptions were made in 2005 when Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo was kept for a second year.
President Mugabe will hand over the AU chairmanship at the forthcoming summit to be held in Addis Ababa this week.