Charumbira elected PAP President, outlines his vision - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Charumbira elected PAP President, outlines his vision

Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira was on Wednesday elected the sixth President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). He was a sole candidate for the election as the Northern Regional Caucus opted not field a candidate.

Chief Charumbira received an affirmative majority vote of 161 votes out of the 203 votes cast to emerge the winner in an election conducted at the seat of the Parliament in Midrand, South Africa.

As directed by the Executive Council, the election was conducted by the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission (OLC) with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat in attendance. According to the modalities for the election issued the OLC, only the Northern and Southern Regions were eligible to present candidates for the position of President.

The modalities were issued pursuant to the decisions of the Executive Council following the crisis that led to the suspension of parliamentary activities on 01 June, 2021

While the Southern Caucus nominated Chief Charumbira as her candidate, the Northern Caucus decided not to present a candidate opting to take her turn after tenure of the Southern Caucus candidate.

Speaking after his election, Chief Charumbira stressed the need for parliamentarians  to speak with one voice and work collaboratively to bring back the Pan African Parliament to its proper position as a continental legislative body.

He expressed appreciation to his home country(Zimbabwe), the Zimbabwe delegation to the PAP. He was also grateful to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the support to his candidacy without which he wouldn’t have succeeded. He also acknowledged the support from the PAP Southern and Northern Region Caucuses.

“To my brothers and sisters in the Southern Regional Caucus, this victory is for you. For several years, you stood by me and consistently affirmed my nomination as your candidate. You withstood several attacks, and sacrificed so much in terms of time, talent and resources to see that equity and fairness are restored at the Pan African Parliament. I won’t harbour any mistaken illusion that the struggle that preceded my election as President was about me. However, I cannot lose sight of your decision to entrust me and present me as the anchor of those values, principles, and convictions that were manifested in the struggle that preceded my election today. I’m honored that you chose me and I am more inspired by your support, consistent tenacity for equity, and fervent determination to speak with one voice. Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!”

“To my brothers and sisters at the Northern Regional Caucus, I am deeply indebted to you for yielding your ambition to my candidacy and allowing me to emerge as President. By this singular act, you have demonstrated that no individual ambition should ever be placed above the stability of our dear parliament. I thank you for standing with all of us as we fought to ensure that the African Union principle on geographical rotation is implemented.”

Chief Charumbira expressed appreciation for the support of the Western, Eastern, and Central Caucus in their determination to elevate PAP beyond the colonial divisions of language and religion.

“Your vote today has demonstrated that no amount of superficial divisions of language and religion can ever overshadow our collective aspirations for a united parliament. I pledge to work with everyone and together we will achieve Africa that we all desire.“This historic moment in our Parliament would not have been possible if not for the steadfast commitment and leadership provided by the African Union Commission led by His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the Commission and the impeccable, indefatigable, and extremely brilliant team from the Office of the Legal Counsel. The consistency and tenacity of purpose which you exhibited in the conduct of this election and the periods before it has proven and reaffirmed the African Union as a beacon of hope and vanguard of Africa’s democratic tenets, rule of law, and the pursuit of equity and justice. I thank you!”.

He noted that the election came at a time that the continent is faced with  enormous challenges that continue to undermine its human and economic development. These include political instability in some countries which is adversely affecting regional cohesion, international peace and security as well as infrastructural development, hence the thrust to Silence the Guns in Africa.

Other challenges he noted are the negative effects of climate change which has resulted in droughts, floods, and other extreme weather conditions; and the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted health systems. Their increased frequency and intensity over the years have adversely affected the prospects for sustained economic growth in the continent.

“Furthermore, unfriendly visa regimes affect inter-country, intra-regional, and inter-regional trade, integration, and cooperation. They not only inhibit the free movement of people and goods but also retard economic growth contrary to the set objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). As if those were not enough, Africa is also faced with the emerging threats posed by corruption and illicit financial flows as well as the trans boundary effects of these vices which increase the cost of doing business in the continent. Poverty, internal displacement, resource conflicts, gender inequalities, unemployment and hunger also continue to stalk the continent, thereby increasing vulnerability.

“Honourable Colleagues, it is undeniable that Africa is yearning for solutions that will break the yoke of human-induced missteps that have been retarding her development trajectory. As an organ of the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament is a critical cog in addressing some of the challenges facing the continent. This was why I predicated my candidacy to the Office of President of the Pan-African Parliament on a desire for purposeful and people-centric leadership and that is what I intend to deliver”. he continued.

According to Chief Charumbira, the Pan African Parliament is at crossroads due to such constraints as institutional capacity and the needed resources to contribute meaningfully to the human and socio-economic development of the continent. The Parliament has inherent framework challenges which require resolute, astute and transformational leadership that is committed to serving the people of Africa. It requires unified parliamentarians to help it emerge from the quagmire it currently finds itself entangled in. It also requires the collective collaboration of the experience and capacity embodied in this chamber that is inspired by the need to deploy the Pan-African Parliament as an instrument to address, in a holistic and sustained manner, the challenges facing the continent.

“I pledge that my administration will be aided by the experienced members of the bureau and will create a conducive and enabling environment that will enable this institution to execute its mandate. I am therefore glad that through consultations, we have been able to formulate during my campaign preceding this election a “10-Point Implementation Planthat will help to actualize our vision of an effective organization, ready to confront the challenges facing the continent as well as Africa’s development discourse.”

He pledged that his administration will give priority to issues that have been undermining the integrity of the Pan-African Parliament such as organizational structure, budget, human Capital, and status of Honourable Members of Parliament in relation to compensation, benefits, and entitlement within the African Union System.

Under his implementation plan, Chrumbira promised  to pursue a complete harmonization of the MP’s Benefits, Privileges and Status with the AU and enhance the sitting allowances for MP’s, welfare and per diem remunerations during missions.  “Working with the Bureau and the Secretariat, I will use my incomparable experience of AU systems to lobby for enhanced funding architecture for these issues”.

He also promised to ensure the allocation of adequate financial resources for  Committee activities with an enhanced welfare package for optimal performance noting that Committees are the engines of the work of Parliament.

Other aspects of the plan include:

·                  Lobby for enhanced incorporation and engagement of PAP MP’s in Election Observer Missions (EOM’s) and ensure that PAP MP’s, who are the pillars of Africa’s democracy, constitute up to 50% of the AU EOM delegation;

·                  Institutionalize a staff review process that complements skills and expertise while ensuring job security, fairness and balance in Staff Regional Distribution and Functions;

·                  Restore prudent management of resources at PAP and value for money by ensuring a harmonious working relationship with donor partners through robust implementation of remediation recommendations in audit reports;

·                  Mainstream gender issues and ensure that affirmative guidelines on gender equity and inclusiveness are prioritized in the Structures of the PAP;

·                  Initiate a robust parliamentary programme on youth empowerment and institute policies that will harness the vast growing youth population in the continent;

·                  Introduce an advocacy initiative meant to enhance poverty eradication programme in line with AU Agenda 2063 and SDG priorities that seek to promote value addition and Agricultural modernization across the continent; and lastly;

·                  Pursue an expeditious ratification of the Malabo Protocol and work to ensure that PAP’s legislative mandate to create model law for the region is institutionalized.

He regretted that for quite some time, PAP (both staff and Members of Parliament) has been divided along religious and linguistic lines.

“The PAP has long embarked on peace missions across the continent. As an institution that has championed peace across the continent, we should embrace the best examples of what we preach.  It’s time we come together and rebuild our institution to its enviable position as the pillar of Africa’s democracy.”

To that end, the Pan-African Parliament requires an enhanced institutional architecture for it to be effective in responding to the contemporary challenges and imperatives confronting Africa. For two years and partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bureau, Permanent Committees, and the Plenary Assembly have not been functionally responsive to the contemporary challenges facing the continent.

He emphasized the need to realign the priorities of the Bureau as the organ responsible for the administration and management of the affairs of the parliament as to create a conducive environment for addressing issues affecting the Parliament, MPs, Staff of parliament, organization, finances, and relations with external stakeholders.

“I commit to working with the Bureau, Members of Parliament, and the Secretariat to address the challenges confronting both the continent and the Parliament. The key will be teamwork as it is only through unity of purpose, oneness, and mutually symbiotic relationships with the other organs and institutions of the African Union that we can achieve more as a continental legislative body. Thank you and together we can achieve the Africa we want.”

#PanArficanParliament #PAP #AfricanUnion     #AU #ChiefFortuneCharumbira 


  1. Hearty congratulations to Chief and the PAP for electing a new President. I am happy that at last the issue of rotation of the presidency has been laid to rest at long last. I wish Chief and his Bureau a successful tenure.
    Hon Dr Bernadette Lahai Former 4th Vice President PAP.

  2. Congratulations Senator Chief! May Yahweh continue to grant you the strength and courage to carry out your vision for the betterment of all African people.


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