Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary Dr Monica Juma has dropped out of the race for the Commonwealth Secretary-General, a source at the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed to the SABC on Tuesday.
While announcing her bid in August last year, Dr Juma said she would work to boost the unity of the 54-nation grouping as well as modernize its operations. It is not clear what led to the decision to leave the race but just last week, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry sent out a statement indicating that the African Union had thrown its weight behind Dr Juma.
The Commonwealth has in the past operated through consensus and Caribbean countries had last year warned that Dr Juma’s candidature risked dividing member states.
VIDEO: Kenya’s Dr Monica Juma quits race for Commonwealth Secretary-General job
News of Dr Juma’s withdrawal from the race first broke in an Australian Newspaper which said she felt her nomination would further divide the Commonwealth. At the time of offering herself, Dr Juma said it was time to give the organisation, mainly made up of former British colonies, fresh leadership. The current Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland is the sole candidate. She will be seeking a second and final four-year term, when the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in Rwanda, in June this year.
Scotland’s first term was extended by two years after the 2020 meeting was postponed due to COVID-19.
FILE VIDEO: Kenya proposes defence cabinet secretary Dr Monica Juma for position of SG of the Commonwealth