Women ‘disappointed’ by Tibaijuka reshuffle

NAIROBI - Regional Members of Parliament have expressed displeasure over the removal of Anna Tibaijuka from the position of Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).
Anna Tibaijuka, the UN-Habitat Executive Secretary.
Anna Tibaijuka, the UN-Habitat Executive Secretary.

NAIROBI - Regional Members of Parliament have expressed displeasure over the removal of Anna Tibaijuka from the position of Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).

Tibaijuka, who is also the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, was early last month relieved of her duties as UNON chief by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and replaced by Dr Achim Steiner.  

Margret Ziiwa, a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) told The New Times in Nairobi that Tibaijuka should have been rewarded for her tremendous efforts she showed while she served in the position.

“I’m disappointed as an MP because Tibaijuka has been a very hard working lady, but let me hope the procedures within the UN system were rightly followed,” Ziiwa said.

Al-Shaymaa Kwegyir a Tanzanian MP wondered why her compatriot had to be replaced and said it was a reminder of how efforts by African women are not appreciated.

But a UN press statement, a copy The New Times obtained, said the UN Secretary General made the decision in view of his policy of rotation among his senior managers.

“The Secretary General is grateful to Mrs Tibaijuka for the valuable support and direction that she has provided UNON during her tenure as Director General since 2002. He is continuing to count on her continued leadership as Executive Director of UN-HABITAT,” it reads. 

The remarks by the parliamentarians came a day after a group of women protested Tibaijuka’s removal bringing the opening of 22nd United Nations Governing Council to a temporary halt.

The protesters some from Uganda and Ghana carried a placard denouncing the replacement with Dr Achim Steiner as a failure to recognise the great role women play in society.

Steiner is also the Executive Director of Nairobi-based United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) a position he has held since 2006.

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