Inside CS Matiangi’s meeting with Zambia’s President Hichilema
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i is in Zambia in talks with the republic's recently sworn in President Hakainde Hichilema.
Matiang'i travelled to the South-central African country on Thursday, September 2 to deliver a message from President Uhuru Kenyatta to Zambia's Hichilema.
In the talks between Kenya and Zambia, Matiang'i is expected to cut a deal which will see President Hichilema back Kenya's candidate Defence CS Monica Juma for the position of Secretary General for the Common Wealth of Nations.
"Kenya and Zambia enjoy a rich history of bilateral relations in trade and cooperation in strategic and mutual geopolitical interests. President Uhuru Kenyatta has also implored his counterpart to support Defence CS Monica Juma's candidature for Secretary General for the Common Wealth of Nations," Matiangi said.
President Uhuru nomitaed CS Juma for the post of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth on August 31.
To demonstrate his confidence in Juma, the Head of State noted how she served well as Principal Secretary in the Foreign Affairs docket and also across the Security departments.
“Her exemplary service establishes her as a diplomat per excellence. It is my hope that the next Commonwealth Heads Summit will consider the nomination favourably.
We as Kenyans seek the support and endorsement from the Commonwealth fraternity,” he said.
The President said Juma has an “indisputable track record on strategic leadership, management, representation and knowledge of government, both regional and international.”
“I have no doubt that the CS will be a strong consensus candidate, who will deliver an effective secretariat driven by member State priorities.
She will help bolster unity amongst the commonwealth family and also enhance innovative partnership,” he added.
Secretary-General is responsible, for among other duties, promoting and protecting Commonwealth’s values, representing publicly and managing the Secretariat.
Secretary-General is nominated by Commonwealth leaders and can serve a maximum of two four-year terms each.
Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC is the current Secretary-General.
The last African to hold the position was Nigeria’s chief Emeka Anyaoku between 1990 and 2000.
Other previous holders of the positions include Kamalesh Sharma of India between 2008-2016, Don McKinnon (New Zealand) between (2000-2008), Sir Shridath ‘Sonny’ Ramphal of Guyana (1975-1990) and Arnold Smith of Canada (1965-1975).
Since the 1993 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), it has been decided that the Secretary-General is elected by assembled heads of governennt and other ministerial representatives at every other CHOGM, according to Wikipedia.
Nominations are received from member States, who sponsor the nomination through election process and are responsible for withdrawing their candidate as they see fit.
Election is held in a Restricted Session of CHOGM, in which only heads of government or ministerial representatives thereof may be present.
Chair of the CHOGM (the head of government of the host nation) is responsible for ascertaining which candidate has the greatest support, through the conduct of negotiations and secretstraw polls.
There is usually a convention that an incumbent seeking a second term is elected unopposed.