BILLIONS AT STAKE AS FIGHT FOR JUICY COMMONWEALTH JOB IS TAKEN TO RWANDA
By Mulengera Reporter
The 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) to be held in Rwanda in June will decide on who becomes the next Secretary General (SG) of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to find a hard time convincing African member states to vote out Patricia Scotland, an ally of many African Commonwealth members, in favor of Kenyan diplomat and former Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohamed.
Johnson is riding on the UK’s patronage of the member countries – since all Commonwealth members are nations proud of having been colonized by Britain – and the support of the major donors of the Commonwealth Club: Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Although Mohamed and Kenya remain coy on the matter, the Premier hopes to rally these nations behind Mohamed to kick out Scotland, the first black female to rise to the rank of Attorney General in UK in 2007.
Aged 65, Scotland was born in Dominica, and capitalized on her Caribbean descent to beat Mmasekgoa Masire Mwamba of Botswana during the 2015 Chogm in Malta to become the SG.
Although Scotland has expressed interest in retaining the seat, sources say her country won’t be backing her. Her detractors accuse her of irregularly hiring a consultant in 2016 and refusing to listen to constructive criticism.
In 2019, Scotland insisted she would not give up her reelection bid, and also denied there were any irregularities in the hiring of a consultant.
She is ready to face any candidate that Johnson and the club of donors back.
But Mohamed’s candidature will depend on whether Kenya and the African voting bloc choose to back her or not.
The African states’ choice is important because the SG will determine the usage of a $51m (Shs187bn) fund aimed at promoting prosperity, democracy and peace among smaller economies, where majority of African countries fall.