JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Ghana’s former president Jerry Rawlings has denounced the sacking of the African Union’s outspoken ambassador to the United States Arikana Chihombori-Quoao as “shameful”.
The Chad presidency of the African Union made the decision on October 7, apparently under pressure from former colonial power, France.
Chihombori has been outspoken about continuing French exploitation of some African countries.
Chad’s president Moussa Faki Mahamat, in the letter announcing the decision to “terminate” Chihombori’s contract, said the Zimbabwean’s two-year stint as the African Union’s envoy to the United States would end on November 1.
A petition opened online to get the African Union to rescind the decision had been signed by 12,000 people by midday on Monday.
In a statement, Rawlings said Chihombori’s dismissal “raises serious questions about the independence of the African Union.”
“For someone who spoke her mind about the detrimental effects of colonisation and the huge cost of French control in several parts of Africa, this is an act that can best be described as coming from French-controlled colonised minds,” Rawlings said.
He added: “How can this shameful behaviour emanate from us? A woman with all that it takes to galvanise our continent is chopped down by French-colonised power mongers good enough to be cleaners or pruning trees at the Elysee Palace.
“With leaders of this kind, how can this continent ever progress?”
In a video shared online, Chihombori said when former colonial powers were leaving the continent, France had made its former colonies sign a “downright terrible” pact for the continuation of colonisation.
“Today, France is taking out of Francophone Africa over US$500 billion. We, the Africans, the poor countries, are giving France US$500 billion year-in year-out,” she said. – ZimLive