Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the outgoing Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, has officially accepted to carry on in her role until January 2017, when new elections are held to find her successor.
‘‘The Heads of State have asked us to carry on our duties till the next elections in Jan 2017. We’ll just do that,’‘ Zuma confirmed during remarks at the closing ceremony of the 27th Heads of State meeting of the AU in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
Her position puts to rest speculations about leaving despite the inconclusive elections. Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete’s name had come up as an interim replacement for Zuma who is believed to be returning to local South African politics.
Although she had announced that she would not be seeking a new mandate after her first term which started in 2012, the Heads of State failed to elect a replacement for her out of three candidates on the last day of the AU Summit.
There were three candidates vying for the post; Uganda’s former vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, Bostwana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi and Agapito Mba Mokuy, Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister.
Even though the Botswana candidate got 16 votes to top the voting, it fell short of the two-thirds majority required to emerge winner. The next summit is slated for early next year when the AU will hold new elections to replace Zuma.