Zambia’s bid for the African Union position of chairperson is gaining momentum with President Levy Mwanawasa requesting his Djibouti counterpart to support Zambia’s candidate, Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika.
President Mwanawasa in a message delivered for him by Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU, Patrick Sinyinza, has requested Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh to support the Zambian candidature for the AU top post.
Ambassador Sinyinza who is in Djibouti as President Mwanawasa’s Special Envoy, said the two countries enjoy excellent relations hence President Mwanawasa’s request for support.
He said Dr. Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika who is Zambia ‘s current ambassador to the United States has vast experience and is a staunch advocate of the AU and NEPAD ideals.
President Guelleh in response, said he appreciated the gesture from President Mwanawasa and that his request to support the Zambian candidate for the AU top post was well received.
President Guelleh also hailed the warm relations between Zambia and Djibouti.
He said his country was anxiously waiting to receive President Mwanawasa on a state visit after the AU summit scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this month end.
The Zambian government has stepped up the campaign for the election of Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika for the position of AU chairperson.
Recently, first republican president,Dr Kenneth Kaunda, as President Mwanawasa’s special envoy visited Ethiopia, Eygpt, Algeria and Libya where Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s bid for the AU post of chairperson was well received.
The SADC region is also behind the Zambian candidate with Swaziland having withdrawn its candidate for the same post and declaring its support for Dr. Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika.