ZIMBABWE candidates vying for African Union Commission positions withdrew their candidature following Sadc candidate Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's victory.
In an interview on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary, Mr Joey Bimha, said the withdrawal was consistent with the AU policy on gender parity.
Their withdrawal, said Mr Bimha, would now pave way for male candidates in Central Africa, the region where AU chairperson losing candidate, Mr Jean Ping, comes from.
"The formula is that there should be an equal number of men and women and because Dr Zuma won, that automatically disqualified our candidates from Southern Africa," said Mr Bimha.
"If Ping had won, it would have meant that men from Central Africa would have been disqualified. We now have men and women from all regions, that is the formula that was agreed."
Dr Zuma got the backing of 37 countries, ousting incumbent chairperson, Mr Ping. She will be deputised by Mr Erastus Mwencha who was re-elected. Zimbabwe's candidates were Dr Hesphina Rukato who wanted to be Commissioner for Political Affairs.
The post has since been filled by Mrs Aicha Abdullahi from Nigeria.
Another candidate from Harare was Mrs Rudo Chitiga who wanted to be Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, but that has been filled by Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko from Siera Leone. There were eight commissioners serving in various portfolios.
The election and confirmation was made at the Assembly's 19th Ordinary Session held from 15-16 July at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.