Matiang’i in Zambia to deliver President Kenyatta’s special message
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i has today delivered a special message from President Uhuru Kenyatta to the newly elected Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.
Dr. Matiang’i who flew to Lusaka Thursday morning conveyed President Kenyatta’s entreaties to Mr. Hichilema to support Kenya’s candidate for the post of the Secretary General for the Commonwealth of Nations.
Kenya is fronting Defence Cabinet Secretary Dr. Monica Juma for the influential office of an organisation that brings together the United Kingdom and 53 Countries that were formerly British colonies. Besides the UK, notable members of the Commonwealth are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania among others.
If successful, Dr Juma, a career diplomat, will take charge of the Secretariat for the Commonwealth that has over the years evolved into an important trading block for member countries. The Commonwealth members enjoy military, education, governance, sports, cultural and geopolitical cooperation pacts intended to strengthen the organisation bonds.
Dr Juma would become the 7th secretary general and will be taking over from the British-Dominican diplomat Patricia Janet Scotland whose first term was set to lapse last year. Elections for the post were however deferred to this year after heads of governments whose vote determine the office occupant were unable to meet due to the Covid pandemic.
Today in Lusaka, Dr Matiang’i who also chairs the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC), also conveyed Kenya’s quest for a new and enriched bilateral deal with the Zambian leadership.
Kenya and Zambia enjoy a history of mutual trading relations going back to preindependence. While Kenya exports pharmaceutical products, edible oils, tobacco, fuel and fuel products to Zambia, it imports copper, sugar and cereals from the Central African country. Both countries are members of the Common Market for Eastern and Sothern Africa (COMESA) that promotes regional trade.
President Kenyatta was among the dignitaries who witnessed Mr Hichilema’s swearing in last month at a ceremony held at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Through Dr Matiangi, President Kenyatta invited his Zambian counterpart to visit Kenya at his convenience.