Prime Minister Raila Odinga has accused the African Union of failing to solve problems facing the continent, giving room to the West to intervene.
Mr Odinga told an AU conference on Sunday that it would be pretentious to accuse the West of meddling in African affairs when those in charge have failed to secure their sovereignty.
“Let us not blame foreigners, let us blame ourselves for failing to deal with African problems instead allowing others to offer solutions for us.”
Mr Odinga argued that the continental organisation has been vague in tackling issues affecting Africa and remained ineffective despite its reformation from the Organisation of African Unity.
“It must stand up for Africa’s people, and it must prove that it is not the same old OAU that was well-known for inaction,” he said.
Mr Odinga urged members of civil society groups to help improve Africa’s situation by holding their governments accountable.
The accusations came in the face of the Union’s failure to deal with political challenges in member states, while at the same time being led by leaders of questionable character.
The current chairman Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, for instance, has a record of unlawfully detaining and torturing his political opponents as well as massive corruption, according to the Transparency International.
This, the PM argued was one weakness of the AU because it cannot punish other wrong-doers.
In Zimbabwe the AU was conspicuously silent when Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF intimidated the opposition out of the presidential run-off in 2008. Mr Mugabe, who had lost in the first round, was re-elected unopposed, but sought a coalition government.
Mr Odinga, who was once appointed to mediate in the post-election crisis in Cote d’Ivoire lamented that the conflict would have been solved earlier but for AU’s cold feet.
“The AU prevaricated very long on the situation, and failed to stand up for democracy and integrity in that country’s elections.”
And when Libya plunged in turmoil, AU was reluctant to recognise the National Transitional Council after the death of Muammar Gaddafi.
The PM said that despite Gaddafi being one of the strongest AU financiers, its dilly-dallying allowed “the life of Africa’s most flamboyant leaders to end in a hail of bullets”.