Ruto secures Zimbabwe backing for Raila’s AU bid

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HARARE – Kenyan President William Ruto has secured Zimbabwe’s support for Raila Odinga’s bid for the African Union Commission chairmanship.

Speaking on Saturday, April 27, at the Bulawayo State House, Zimbabwe during bilateral talks with his counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa, Ruto said Kenya’s candidature is informed by the role that the country plays in enhancing the Pan–African Agenda.

“I am assured that Kenya and Zimbabwe will persist in conferring and backing each other on a multitude of issues of bilateral, regional, and continental significance alongside the African Union
Agenda 2063,” said President Ruto.

This comes in the wake of a unanimous decision by the African Union Executive Council, on 15th March 2024, that the Eastern Africa region submit candidates for the AU Chairperson.

During the bilateral meeting, Kenya and Zimbabwe signed nine MoUs in the fields of transport, infrastructure, health, education, defense, trade and investments among other areas.

President Mnangagwa emphasized the need for investors to exploit existing opportunities in the two countries.

Meanwhile, Kenya and Zimbabwe will leverage their rich shared history, socio-cultural, political, and economic ties as well as abundant natural resources for the mutual benefit of their citizens.

President Ruto said the two countries have a deep understanding that underpins our mutual support over the years in diverse arenas.

“Based on this, I wish to declare Kenya’s unreserved support for Zimbabwe’s readmission to the Commonwealth, and for the African Union’s call for the immediate lifting of all illegal sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe,” said President Ruto.

“I stand here to affirm Kenya’s commitment to the flourishing of our bilateral relations, and our shared determination to advance and enhance mutual benefit through partnership and consultation.”