Why The Internet Sweetheart Had To Be Shown The Door

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PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE

AFRICAN UNION
UNION AFRICAINE
NIÃO AFRICANA
Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA P. O. Box 3243 – Telephone: 011 552 5837 Fax: 0115 525840
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION REGARDING THE
CONTINUED MISLEADING CAMPAIGN OF THE AU FORMER PERMANENT
REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
15 November 2019, Addis Abeba: The African Union Commission regrets the
continuation of a misleading campaign on different media outlets regarding the
circumstances of the end of tenure of Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao as the African Union
Permanent Representative to the United States of America.
Dr Chihombori Quao received a letter on 7 October 2019 bringing her tour of duty to an
end, in line with the terms and conditions governing her contract of appointment, after
serving three years as Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the
United States of America.
Per the African Union internal rules, a high-level team was deployed to the AU
Representational Mission to the USA in Washington DC from 16 to 26 October 2019 to
carry out a supervisory audit of the Office activities, facilitate the separation and the
handover processes against the mandate of the Office and the approved Programme
Activities.
During this mission, the team found evidence, corroborated by Dr Quao that she initiated
and implemented with AU funds, activities of the following entities that have no AUC
formal approval or legal link to the African Union, nor any of its organs:
• AU-ADHI (Africa Union-Africa Diaspora Health Initiative) ;
• African Electoral Integrity Initiative Inc.;
• Miss African Union Pageant;
• African Union Trading Company LLC;
• Wakanda One Village Project Initiative;
• African Diaspora Global Fund;
• African Diaspora Federal Credit Union (PADFCU) in the New England;
• African Diaspora Youth Leaders’ Summit;
• Pan African Diaspora Women’s Association (PADWA);
• Pan African Diaspora Men’s Association (PADMA);
• Pan African Diaspora Youth Association (PADYA); and
• African Diaspora Retreat.
The team found that the above entities, initiatives, associations and/or corporates have
conducted the following without prior knowledge or consent and against the rules of the
African Union:

  1. Utilised the African Union Logo;
  2. Presented themselves as official AU programmes and/or AU organs;
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  3. Used the name of the AU;
  4. Registered the official physical address of the AU Mission in Washington DC as
    their legal and financial domicilium;
  5. Some of these entities are illegally registered to the USA Internal Revenue
    Services with diplomatic tax certificates applied for by Dr Quao;
  6. Raised or received funds in the name of the AU;
  7. Collected donations from private sector entities and companies like Chevron Oil
    Company;
  8. Donations and funds were collected in the name of the African Union Mission
    with no evidence that any amount collected were deposited in AU accounts,
    including but not limited to, the amount of ten thousand dollars donated by
    Chevron Oil Company. A private entity headed by a certain Melvin Foote,
    confirmed that they utilized the funds for unknown activities unrelated to the
    African Union or its Mission in Washington, DC.
    In this regard, the African Union Commission has written confirmation from Dr Quao that
    the aforementioned initiatives/activities were her private engagements, initiated by
    herself, with no relationship to the African Union nor any of its organs.
    It was also found that Dr Quao, in violation of the African Union Rules and Regulations,
    unilaterally made diplomatic appointments to several personalities unknown to the African
    Union and for whom she sought the US Department of State’s recognition of these
    individuals, unknown to the African Union, as bone fide envoys of the African Union.
    Before her separation, Amb. Quao has signed official letters revoking these
    appointments. These letters were forwarded to the said individuals and, accordingly the
    US State Department was informed of this revocation.
    Since the separation of Dr Quao on 31 October 2019, she has no further formal dealings
    with the AU, and the AU has implemented several remedial and preventive actions
    regarding the above mentioned issues. In this regard, the African Union Commission
    reserves the right to take any legal action, if necessary, against any use and/or misuse of
    its name, logo and resources by any unauthorized individuals or entities.
    Finally, the African Union Commission reiterates that the claims made in social media
    suggesting that Dr Quao end of tenure is due to any pronouncements or opinions she
    may have held during her three and a half year tenure, are blatantly untrue and
    unsubstantiated. Dr Chihombori herself confirmed that she has never been sanctioned by
    the Commission on any public pronouncements she has made during her three-year
    tenure and nor has the Commission ever thought the need to do so. On the contrary, Dr
    Chihombori maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her
    opinions, and did so via AU channels.
    Media enquiries:
    Ebba Kalondo (Ms)
    Spokesperson to the Chairperson
    African Union Commission
    Addis Abeba
    +251911510512
    KalondoE@africa-union.org
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