February 1, 2008

President Kikwete new African Union chairman

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has become the new chairman of the Africa Union (AU). He has taken over from Ghana’s President John Kufuor. Political observers believe Kikwete faces an uphill task to help solve the political crises on the continent in countries like Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Sydney Masamvu, a political analyst with the International Crisis Group, said that Kikwete had a tough task, which included as much as the onus would be on him to resolve the Zimbabwe issue one way or the other. And also the onus would be on him to resolve the Kenya crisis with both Tanzania and Zambia as major allies - Zambia being the SADC chair and Tanzania now being the AU chair. According to Masamvu Zimbabwe’s main opposition would not be able to forestall President Robert Mugabe’s determination of the country’s general elections slated for March. “Nothing will happen. Zimbabwe is going to have disputed elections on March 29, and we will be back to the status quo, as in other ways we will be back to the 2000 scenario. So, actually, any process we are going to see post-elections for, already, we can conclude, and rightly so, that Zimbabwe is going to have flawed elections, which would be disputed,” he noted. (rts)

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