Gaddafi missed by AU member states

The death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has had a devastating effect on AU finances amid reports that the late Libyan president would bail out member states struggling to pay their membership fees.

Gaddafi, who was killed last year by rebels in his country after refusing to step down, was one of the top five leaders in Africa in terms of contributions to the AUs coffers.

The issue was raised by a Kenyan member of Kiema Kilonzo during a briefing with an official from the AU peace and security department at the organisations headquarters in Addis Ababa this week.

The briefing was part of an inter-parliamentary dialogue on climate change and peace and security in Africa hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation. The legislators were drawn from 14 countries across the continent, including Zimbabwe.

Kilonzo asked a representative of the peace and security department, Norman Mlambo to comment on allegations that the death of Gadaffi had financially crippled the AU.

According to reports, Gaddafi would come to the rescue of a number of African countries that could not afford membership fees and reports are that he would cover almost one third of Africas contribution to the budget.

The MPs were also concerned by what they said was AUs reluctant response to the crisis in Libya and other revolutions in northern Africa, saying the continental body acted like a puppet of the West.
However, Mlambo dismissed the perception that Gadaffi was at the forefront of funding AU saying funding came from partners.

He however conceded that Libya was a big contributor financially and was part of the best five in terms of contributions.

They are called the big five in the sense that they never miss their contribution and sometimes as in the case of Libya, whereas when some member states failed to pay their annual contribution it happened that Libya would pay for some of these countries.

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