Retrogressive to appoint Gaddafi head of the AU

It is interesting to note that the African Union has elected Libya's Muammar Gaddafi as its chairman. The man has made no secret of his desire to create a United States of Africa. What better time than now to push this dream forward?

It is interesting to note that the African Union has elected Libya's Muammar Gaddafi as its chairman. The man has made no secret of his desire to create a United States of Africa. What better time than now to push this dream forward?

It is unfortunate that in this day and age, Africans still see it proper to appoint a man who has been in power for more than 40 years and in whose country there is no properly-elected government. Are we not glorifying and condoning dictatorship?

We seem to reward leaders based on popularity and a false sense of brotherhood, not substance. No wonder the AU is never taken seriously by its international peers.

Why do some member states not send representatives to AU gatherings? In Ethiopia, only 20 heads of state attended though the AU has 52 members. Gaddafi will speak on behalf of Africa and we know his controversial views on a host of issues. So, are we safe in his hands.

The AU, like its predecessor the OAU, is a toothless body that serves the interests of a chosen few. We were duped in 2002 when then president Thabo Mbeki hosted the inaugural AU conference in Durban and we were told that things would improve in Africa. But Mugabe, Bongo, Nguema and Gaddafi still hold sway.

Africa has a long way to go in trying to chart our way forward. This is certainly a huge step backward.

Kiekie Mboweni, Nkowankowa

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