The African Union (AU) has responded to widespread allegations that the sacking of its former ambassador to the US was the result of Western connivance to silence dissent.
The former emissary, Dr Arikana Chilombo-Quao, was kicked out of her position in October via a press release from the AU that stated no reasons for the decision.
This led to many observers and analysts on African politics theorising that Dr Chilombo-Quao may have been sacked due to concerns she has consistently and aggressively raised about Western influence on the continent.
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But now, the AU is fighting back.
In a statement signed by its communications director, Ebba Kalondo, the continental body said Dr Chilombo-Quao’s appointment was terminated because “her tour of duty to duty to an end, in line with the terms and conditions governing her contract of appointment, after serving three years as Permanent Representative…”.
The statement also made the point that the ambassador had taken decisions in her official capacity without informing the AU.
These decisions using the body’s funds, organising events and appointing people all in the name of the AU but without official documentation informing the executive.
The AU said its internal auditors found as many as eight indiscretions on the part of Dr Chilombo-Quao.
But in response to these accusations, Dr Chilombo-Quao has called the allegations “a sham and a witch hunt”.