By PSCU for eDaily.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today joined friends, professional colleagues, and relatives of Ambassador Amina Mohamed during a well-wishing luncheon ahead of the African Union Commission elections next week where the Cabinet Secretary is among the five candidates for the top AUC post.
The First Lady described the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade as both an inspiration and mentor of many Kenyans.
“You have made Kenya proud. Keep flying the Kenyan flag high. We know you are going higher. We wish you the very best”, said the First Lady during the luncheon at a Nairobi hotel where various speakers including two cabinet secretaries described their colleague as a smart, intelligent and bold.
Elections for the AUC chairperson post will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government slated for January 30-31 .
Ambassador Mohammed was scheduled to leave the country this evening for Addis Ababa for a gender conference before heading to Benin for further official engagements and then return to Addis Ababa for the AU Assembly elections that are expected to fill all the 10 positions including AUC Deputy Chairperson and 8 commissioners.
The First Lady said Ambassador Mohammed had steadfastly sacrificed her life and comfort towards improving the condition of Africa, protecting the interests of the continent and redefining the terms of Africa’s relationship with the world.
She expressed her admiration for the Cabinet Secretary’s ability to balance the delicate demands of being Kenyan’s highest raking diplomat and the challenging duties of being a wife and mother.
“Even as she travelled the world working incessantly to broker bilateral agreements and preserve peace, I have seen her simultaneously prioritize her family; her children and their wellbeing, their milestones, their lives”, said the First Lady.
Besides these huge tasks, said the First Lady, Ambassador Mohammed found time for women and the youth whom she supported, inspired, motivated and encouraged in various ways.
The First Lady said Ambassador Mohammed espoused diligence, excellence, honour and dignity and demanded the same of those she interacted with especially her mentees.
“She has modeled these virtues while giving grace to those who earnestly try to do the same”, she added.
Other speakers who heaped more praise on Ambassador Mohammed included her cabinet colleagues Dr. Raychel Omamo ( Defence), Sicily Kariuki ( Public Service, Youth and Gender),Ms Kristina Platt, Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u , Senator Zipporah Kittony and long time friend Mrs Wairimu Karago.
Ms Ndung’u said no other Foreign Affairs Minister since Independence has faced as many challenges as Ambassador Mohammed especially the ICC cases and midwifing the new Constitution 2010 where the Cabinet Secretary played a key role.
She described Ambasador Mohammed as a symbol of nationalism and patriotism adding that the Cabinet Secretary was the most suitable candidate for the AUC chairperson post.
Ms Kariuki said Ambassador Mohammed epitomizes achievement and success while long time friend Mrs Wairimu Karago praised Ms Mohammed for the many sacrifices she had made for the country.
On her part, Ambassador Mohamed said the Foreign Affairs docket was the best job she has ever held.
She said during her tenure, she successfully protected its sovereignty and independence, sought collaborative partnerships globally and guarded the country against impositions and dictations of what Kenya should do or not do.
She said her nomination to the AUC chairperson post by President Uhuru Kenyatta in October last year came as a surprise.
She however praised the president and Deputy President William Ruto for leading the campaign and lobbying for her candidature across 52 countries in Africa.
Besides Ambassador Mohamed, other candidates contesting for the AUC chairperson position include the Foreign Affairs Ministers from Chad ( Mousa Faki Mahamat), Equatorial Guinea ( Agapito Mba Mokuy), Botswana (Dr Pelonomi Venson Moitoi) and Bathily Abdoulaye from Senegal. The later is the Special UN envoy for Central Africa.