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Friday, July 13, 2012


Barely a week after the immediate former Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Asha Rose Migiro returned to Tanzania after serving a five-year term at the helm of the world body, sources within the UN have hinted that poor performance and failure to fit “in the diverse and complicated body” were some of the reasons she was refused a contract renewal.  “The position of the Deputy Secretary-General is complicated and demanding; it requires somebody who is experienced to efficiently run the Secretariat. Her biggest challenge was not understanding the politics at the world body and creating alliances,” the source told Vox Media in a telephone conversation. Dr. Migiro is understood to have approached the African Group, the largest regional group comprising of 28 percent of all UN members, to ask for help in lobbying for her re-appointment, but her quest was rejected. “She wasn’t popular amongst diplomats; so nobody listened to her. You should also recall that her appointment was widely criticized.” In Dar es Salaam, a former senior ruling party secretariat member who worked closely with her in the same team before she assumed the UN post said her appointment was influenced by her personal relationship with President Jakaya Kikwete. It is understood that President Kikwete and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cultivated a close relationship when serving as foreign ministers for their respective governments. When it came for Ban Ki-moon to canvass for votes toward his UN bid, Tanzania’s vote was predominant; Dr. Migiro was apparently battered with Kikwete’s vote. But when Ban Ki-Moon recently decided to review his entire team in a bid to control growing criticism of his team, Dr. Migiro had to go for “poor performance and lack of experience required of staff with the top UN mandate.” Mr Ban appointed Dr Migiro in 2007 upon his election to succeed Dr Kofi Annan.  The exit of the former law lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam has been put down to the fact that Mr Ban is lining up a new team to carry forward his agenda after he was re-appointed in 2011 for a second and final five-year term. The US-based Inner City Press has named Ms Susan Malcorra as Dr Migiro’s possible successor. Ms Malcorra is currently head of the UN Department of Field Support.  Dr Migiro was the third holder of the prestigious post that was established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997 as part of reforms in the United Nations to help manage secretariat operations and ensure coherence of activities and programmes. The position was also meant to elevate the organisation’s profile and leadership in the economic and social spheres. Her return home has sparked fresh speculation on who will emerge victorious in the hotly-contested slot of CCM candidate in the 2015 presidential election. Dr Migiro’s name has cropped up in the list of prospective presidential candidates in 2015, when President Jakaya Kikwete’s second and constitutionally last five-year term comes to an end. The race is likely to be tough, with party primaries expected to be heated following political divisions in the ruling party and candidates who attack each other openly.  Dr Migiro appears to have an edge, however, with some analysts speculating that CCM’s top brass may decide to go with a high profile member of her calibre to become the next president and the first woman to hold the seat.  Though she has not openly indicated an interest in the presidency, there is still time for the diplomat to weigh her chances and possibly tip the balance in the dominant party.

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