PAP Southern Africa Regional Caucus Parliamentarians discuss the impact of COVID-19 and Terrorism; endorse Charumbira as PAP President - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Sunday, May 9, 2021

PAP Southern Africa Regional Caucus Parliamentarians discuss the impact of COVID-19 and Terrorism; endorse Charumbira as PAP President

Hon. Pemmy Majodina, Chief Whip, South Africa's Parliament

The aspiration of the Acting President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira to be elected as the next President of the continental parliament received a boost over the weekend following his endorsement by the Southern African Regional Caucus.

The Regional Caucus met on Friday and Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa where they discussed the issues such as the threat of terrorism in the region and the security situation in Mozambique; the COVID 19 pandemic and the need for a regional approach to mitigate the current pandemic and future pandemics; the African continental Free Trade Agreement and how ordinary citizens can benefit; and the Revised Pan African Parliament Protocol and the issues affecting ratification.

Those in attendance included all the parliaments of member states except those who are not allowing travel out of and into their countries due to COVID protocols. Some regional PAP MPs from outside the region and Speakers of national Parliaments attended as observers.

In an exclusive interview with the African Parliamentary News, a senior member of the delegation who is also the Chief Whip of the South African Parliament, Hon. Pemmy Majodina disclosed that the Caucus discussed “COVID-19 and its impact on the continent. How are women, children and persons with disability affected; how are countries in general affected by the lockdown where people were unable to go out of their homes.”

She said that COVID-19 exposed the inequalities, under-development in the continent.

“Africa must find its way of manufacturing its own vaccines and not depend on foreign countries to supply its vaccines. That will also contribute to job creation as most people lost their jobs during this time of COVID-19”

Hon. Majodina stated that the Caucus condemned terrorism and described the attack on Mozambique as an attack on the other countries in the region.

Hon. Chief Charumbira, Acting PAP President addressing the MPs. Picture by Inala Media Joburg

She said that “PAP and the African Union (AU) must come up with a multi-prong approach to deal with terrorism” and described as inhuman, how people are killed and beheaded by these terrorists.

“Terrorism causes death, it causes misery in the area where it is happening in Mozambique and it displaces people”.

Hon. Majodina regretted that it is all about mineral resources in the African continent and cautioned that the solution does not lie in the police or military but that we must empower our people to defend themselves.

“The summit also discussed the issue of the PAP Bureau election and resolved that in accordance with AU policy, PAP Presidency must rotate among the five regions of the continent and this time around, we have endorsed Chief Fortune Charumbira. We are going to canvass support from the other regions”

“We have allowed other regions to lead and we think that we are equal to the task. We also endorsed Hon. Anifa Kawooya from Uganda as candidate for Vice President representing East Africa Region”.

It is expected that the endorsement of Hon. Kawooya by the Southern African Regional Parliamentary Caucus will result in a reciprocal endorsement of Hon. Chief Charumbira by the East Africa Regional Caucus. The North Africa Regional Caucus has reportedly endorsed Hon. Chief Charumbira with some other countries such Uganda, Sierra Leone and Saharawi following suit. There are also indications that Ghana and Nigeria may likely to endorse Chief Fortune Charumbira very soon.

“We are not arrogant but we are going to engage with other regions but we start by putting out our candidate and then we negotiate with them to see what they bring to the table”.

“We want to come with a program that will make PAP to be known, to be able to legislate and play robust oversight over member countries and ensure that member countries have programs of sustaining peace, respecting human rights and ensuring that elections are held at intervals as per member countries’ constitutions”.

The members of the Parliamentary Caucus are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It would be recalled that the Thirty-First Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council held 27 June – 1 July 2017 at Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA  called upon the Pan African Parliament to apply the African Union values, rules and regulations in managing all the activities of the organ including rotation of the Bureau and Presidency

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