Uganda’s Presidential-elect, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has written to his Congolese counterpart, the current Chairperson of the African Union (AU) to postpone forthcoming elections of the Union’s Commission during the 34th Ordinary Assembly on 6th to 7th February 2021.
In the letter to President Félix Tshisekedi signed off on Wednesday, January 25, Museveni says that “it will be difficult for the Assembly to conduct important elections of senior leaders of the Commission virtually, as envisaged.”
He is cognizant that the Summit will be held virtually due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.
However, he pleaded that it is in this regard, “the pandemic has made the process of electing Commission leaders very challenging.”
Moreover, Museveni argues in the letter copied to the Commission’s Chairperson, that the Assembly has not had the opportunity to receive presentations from candidates in respect of their vision for the AU.
In view of the anticipated challenges in remotely dealing with practical issues of elections, Museveni insisted, “I recommend that the upcoming AU elections be postponed in accordance with Article 9, Section I(i) of the AU Constitutive Act, for a period of one year or until such a time when the Assembly is in position to hold a physical meeting to deal with AU Commission choices.”
The irony in Museveni’s plea is that he has just concluded participation in a highly criticised Presidential election where he was accused by his opponents of weaponizing the Covid-19 pandemic by limiting the opposition’s ability to mobilise voters.
Observers privy to the goings-on in Statehouse say Museveni has ambitions to secure a slot for one of his aides.
It is also believed that since he is still nursing electoral fatigue, and dealing with the contestation of the electoral results, following a lawsuit by his fierce contender Robert Kyagulanyi, he needs time to campaign
His hope is that Tshisekedi will listen to his plight, despite a widely known view amongst his peers that he has lost credibility by rigging the elections and excessively used his security organs to repress the opposition in order to strengthen his chances of remaining in power.
Tshisekedi will most probably not heed.