The United Kingdom wants Kenya’s veteran diplomat Amina Mohamed to take over the Commonwealth top job in what could be London’s clawless coup in a Club it patronises.
The push driven by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is part of UK’s move to have a change of leadership and remove current Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, seen in London as a bureaucrat who has overreached her hand.
Whether Ms Amina contests at all, however, depends on decisions by President Uhuru Kenyatta, and the African bloc as a whole. Ms Scotland, whose term ends this April, was given two more months to June as leaders haggle on her position.
Diplomats think rumours of Amina Mohamed nomination could be great, but she is friends with Scotland. Her running could betray Scotland, unless the incumbent steps down.
Africa may accept to put forward a candidate, though Amina’s hurdles include Kenya’s bid for the UN Security Council seat, which means Nairobi wants to maintain support from both Africa and Caribbean. A contest against Scotland scatters the vote at UN, officials argue.
Kenya stands a good chance, though Tanzania or Botswana may challenge if opportunity arose. Nigeria has had a secretary general before. South Africa is not into it now.