PAP Staff bemoan their fate under Gayo, petition AU policy organs - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Tuesday, January 16, 2024

PAP Staff bemoan their fate under Gayo, petition AU policy organs

Some concerned staff of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) who have sworn to uphold values of the African Union such as respect for diversity and teamwork, thinking of Africa first, transparency, accountability, integrity, impartiality, efficiency and professionalism, as well as sharing information and knowledge have sent an open letter to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) to save PAP staff from the hands the Second Vice President, Hon. Dr. Ashebir W. Gayo who they alleged, has turned out to be a  corrupt, abusive and power hungry dictator.

The staff stated that they resorted to writing an open letter because they were prevented from appearing before the Task Force set up by the AUC Chairperson that visited South Africa in November 2023 by Hon. Dr. Gayo. They stated that they were initially supposed to meet with the Task Force but when Dr. Gayo found out, he ordered the Task Force to cancel the meeting because he did not approve of it.  

“Dr Ashebir W. Gayo, as Second Vice-President out of five mmbers, presented himself to the PAP without invitation or credentials from anyone on August 22, 2023 and declared himself Acting President. He waited for Chief Charumbira to go for election in his country and, without a Bureau meeting or agreement with the other members, he turned up at the PAP premises demanding the key to the President's office, thereby removing the portraits of the President and the other two Vice-Presidents who had stood for election in their countries. This action is not only a Coup d’état, but also a work of power-hungry individuals, and it is unfortunately not the first time this kind of behavior has occurred at PAP. We've had several such coups since the PAP was founded. A solution to this problem must be found, and urgently. In a democratic institution and continental body such as this one, we don't expect this kind of behavior. PAP is supposed to set standards of good governance for all member states. Unfortunately, this is not the case.”

“After illegally assuming office, Dr Ashebir W. Gayo immediately dismissed the Office staff who had been properly hired (Director of the Bureau, Policy Officer, and Office Secretary). These staff have been recruited to serve the office of the President of the Pan-African Parliament. The Clerk of Parliament rejected this illegal order for the immediate dismissal of these employees, which led to another order, that of asking security not to allow these three employees to enter the premises, and Dr Ashebir W. Gayo also ordered the immediate suspension of the official e-mail addresses of these three employees. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo ordered the issuance of an international contract to the retired Senior Auditor who is locally based in South Africa as Director of the Bureau without following the set recruitment procedures. The Clerk of Parliament advised a temporary solution but Dr Ashebir W. Gayo rejected and intimidated to fire the Clerk of Parliament if she did not implement his directive”.

Dr Ashebir W. Gayo also ordered an international contract to be issued to another Policy Officer without following the AU recruitment process and procedures; … instructed to issue an international contract to a young Ethiopian woman based in South Africa, who was acting as his personal secretary, but who this time was issued an international contract at the expense of the African Union, in violation of the African Union's personnel rules and regulations on recruitment”.

The concerned Staff alleged that the three contracts mentioned above were undertaken without following any laid down procedures, but on the basis of a military-style order from Dr. Ashebir W. Gayo, on behalf of the Bureau and the Acting President. Neither the PAP Protocol nor the AU Staff Rules and Regulations gave Dr Ashebir W. Gayo the authority to dismiss and hire staff as Acting President or Vice-President.

Dr Ashebir W. Gayo ordered the Clerk of Parliament to hire a senior political advisor, a position that is not in the approved structure and has no budget. We know that the Clerk of Parliament rejected this illegal order; we know that once again the Clerk was reprimanded for not accepting this order, she was told that she was a “nobody" in the PAP and that he would fire her at any time. Despite the Clerk's refusal, we continued to see the former Clerk, Dr Madasa, in the PAP office environment, and Dr Ashebir W. Gayo hired him as a Senior Political Advisor; We are aware that even recently another senior staff has suffered Dr Gayo’s brutality after he objected  to payment of Mr. Madasa’s salaries”.

“We would like to draw your attention to the fact that, due to Dr Ashebir W. Gayo's illegal orders, since August 2023 the PAP has been paying two Directors of the Bureau, three Policy Officers, and two Secretaries. This is a misuse of taxpayers' money, an abuse of power, and a violation of the rules and regulations of the African Union. It is a violation of the golden rules established by the political organs regarding the expenditure of Union funds”.

Dr Ashebir W. Gayo, considering himself as a Bureau, President and Clerk of Parliament, dissolved the suitably and legally established APROB and formed his own APROB by appointing Hon. Miles Sampa as APROB Chairperson, contrary to the AU staff rules and regulations, removing the Clerk of Parliament and legal representative as APROB members. The Clerk of Parliament opposed this decision and ended up being intimidated, abused, and harassed by Dr Ashebir W. Gayo. This is not in compliance with the requirements of the PAP Protocol, which states that the Clerk of Parliament is responsible for the recruitment of all Secretariat posts other than the Clerk and Deputy Clerks. We wonder what Dr Ashebir W. Gayo's motive is for preventing the Clerk from carrying out her legal duties.”

They accused Dr. Gayo of appointment of several staff members to interim positions.

“Through his abuse of power, Dr Ashebir W. Gayo created tensions within the staff, leading to lack of motivation and conflicts. He disregarded the requirements of the Union's personnel regulations, in particular concerning seniority and prior qualifications, as illustrated by the following examples:”

“1. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has appointed Ms. Josiane Wawa as acting Head of Plenary, Hansard, Interpretation and Translation on account of seniority. The staff holds a P3 grade, while there are two other more senior staff with P4 positions within the same division;”

“2. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo appointed Ms. Beza Mayo as the Head of Finance and Budget Division on seniority grounds. Ms. Beza holds a similar grade to Mr. Mogomosti, who is the most senior officer in the department. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo did not consider the fact that at the time he appointed Ms. Beza as acting head, Mr. Mogomosti had already been appointed as the officer in charge, recently he appointed Mr Mogomosti to replace Ms Beza after she rejected illegal orders of Dr. Gayo;”

“3. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo appointed Mr. Ohiwe-ie as Acting Senior Internal Auditor. We know that Mr. Ohiwe-ie absconded for a year/abandoned his duty station and is even the subject of disciplinary proceedings through external and internal auditors, but Dr Ashebir W. Gayo ignored the Secretariat management advice and appointed Ohiwe-ie to the position of Senior Internal Auditor;”

“4. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo appointed Mr. Njekwa to the position of Senior Communications Manager, leaving behind an eligible and dedicated officer within the department.  Mr. Njekwa comes from another unit and has neither the experience nor the qualifications required for the position of Senior Media and Communications Officer;”

“5. Dr. Ashebir W. Gayo has appointed Ms. Wawa as the International Relations Manager. We wonder how Ms. Wawa will be able to carry out three different functions. What did Wawa give Dr Ashebir W. Gayo to receive three appointments at the same time? We know that Dr. Ashebir W. Gayo ignored Ms. Dominic's appointment to this position, as recommended by the Clerk of Parliament;” and

“6. We are aware that the position of Deputy Clerk and all vacant positions were all advertised by the AUC and the team from Addis HR came to PAP to process the same, however Dr Ashebir W. Gayo through his own APROB has rejected to process further these key positions which affect negatively the performance of PAP. Dr Gayo’s ignorance of AU Recruitment and Selection procedures is negatively affecting PAP performance. He continues to use these vacant positions as weapons to victimize staff who object to his illegal directives. Dr. Gayo has objected to completion of recruitment of these positions instead he continues to appoint individual who lack necessary qualifications, experience and expertise in those roles just to make sure his illegal orders can be implemented. Even when these appointed individual object to his orders he reprimand them with demotion.”

The concerned staff also accused Dr. Gayo of abusing, harassing and bullying the Clerk of the Parliament.As mentioned above, we know that the new Clerk has been the victim of a series of abuses, harassments, intimidations and tortures by Dr Ashebir W. Gayo on behalf of the Bureau and on behalf of the Acting President.  They noted some of these abuses by Dr. Ashebir W. Gayo and Hon. Miles Sampa to include:

“1. We know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo ordered or forbade the Clerk to communicate with any outside partners, including the host government, the EU, the AUC and other partners;”

“2. We know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo reprimanded the Clerk of Parliament for attending the supplementary budget meeting called by the AUC Deputy Chair Person (DCP);”

“3. We know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo intimidated the Clerk of Parliament by telling her that he would remove her from her post if she did not dismiss the staff of the Office of the Bureau and replace them with the new staff that he illegally presented to her to offer them international contracts. This intimidation was made in front of Mr. Sampa, Mr. Akibate and Mr. Gali. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo told the Clerk of Parliament, in front of his subordinates, that she was not his favorite when she was appointed and that, if she did not comply with his directives, he would fire her”;

“4. We know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo instructed the Clerk of Parliament not to approve any transactions, even though she is a controlling officer. We wonder who Parliament's controlling officer is;”

“5. We also know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has ordered several transactions which are not budgeted for and which are non-compliant with the AU's financial rules and regulations.”

“6. We know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo ordered the Clerk of Parliament not to address and present the audit findings and recommendations to the PRC. The recommendations relate to mishandling of cash, staff absences, and cases of overspending/overpayments/underpayments. We wonder what Dr Ashebir W. Gayo is trying to hide from or pursue.”

“7. We know that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has removed the Clerk of Parliament from any involvement in recruitment and has set up an illegal recruitment committee, which is non- compliant with the AU Staff Regulations. If the Head of the Secretariat cannot participate in or supervise the recruitment of Secretariat staff, what is the reason or motive for this decision?”

“8. We are aware that Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has suspended the Clerk from her formal duties, thus triggering the following questions:

Where did Dr Ashebir W. Gayo get the power to suspend the Clerk of Parliament?

How can one person decide to dismiss the Clerk when it is clearly stipulated that it should come from the Parliament?

Does compliant recruitment constitute misconduct on the part of the Clerk?

Can Dr Ashebir W. Gayo provide the minutes of the Bureau meeting that decided the dismissal/ suspension of the Clerk of Parliament?

They also allege the violation of a number of AU Rules and regulations such as:

“1. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo and Hon. Milles Sampa are now the PAP procurement officers, contrary to the AU procurement policy and manual;”

“2. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo and Hon. Milles Sampa are now the PAP's recruiters and appointing authority, contrary to the AU's staff regulations and financial regulations;”

“3. According to the AU's financial rules, the controlling officer is the head of an organ or institution based full-time at the duty station. We wonder who made Dr Ashebir W. Gayo and Sampa full-time employees of the PAP. They make all the financial decisions, and when the Clerk of Parliament questions some of their decisions, they end up suspending her from her duties. The PAP Protocol defines the clerk as a controlling officer, but Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has violated this requirement and turned himself into the controlling officer, the Clerk, and the Bureau. Where is the separation of duty to ensure integrity, transparency, ethics, and good governance”

“4. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has abused his power by ordering that funds be used contrary to what they were approved for. This is non-compliant with article 19 of the AU financial rules. Who is empowering Dr. Gayo in this blatant dictatorship in an organ that is looked upon and respected by all Africans?”

“5. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has committed numerous financial irregularities that call for action in accordance with Articles 81 and 82 of the AU Financial Rules. Daily Subsistence Allowances were paid to several MPs on behalf of CAPA when they had not been approved or budgeted for, thanks to Dr Ashebir W. Gayo. The recruitment of “friends” as Bureau staff constitutes a financial irregularity, nepotism, and misuse of funds dedicated to the African Continent.”

“We demand the PRC to take appropriate actions against Dr Ashebir W. Gayo and Hon. Milles Sampa”.

“6. Article 83: due to his arrogance and abuse of power, the UNION has been paying two Directors of Bureau instead of one since August 2023, three Policy Officers instead of one since September 2023, two secretaries instead of one since August 2023, representing a loss to the Union and taxpayers' money. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo must be held accountable as an individual for all these monetary losses;”

“7. Dr. Gayo violated Rule 64 of the AU Financial Regulations by recruiting his secretary and offering her an international contract even though she is based locally in South Africa and without following the recruitment procedures;”

“8. We have witnessed harassment and threats by Dr Ashebir W. Gayo and Hon. Milles Sampa against PAP staff who do not accept their illegal directives. This is contrary to rule 3.4 of the AU Staff Regulations. PAP staff are union personnel per rule 2.3 of the AU Staff Rules and, therefore, the Bureau should not be allowed to intimidate and harass staff who are performing the tasks for which they were recruited for;”

“9. We have witnessed a violation of Rule 35 concerning the acting appointments by Dr Ashebir W. Gayo, as indicated above;”

“10. We have witnessed a breach of the PAP protocol by Dr Ashebir W. Gayo who assumes the role of the Clerk. The protocol states that the Clerk of Parliament is responsible for all day- to-day administrative matters of the PAP. We wonder when Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has been appointed as Clerk of Parliament;”

“11. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has violated the AU's staff regulations regarding the formation of the recruitment and selection committee. The composition of the recruitment and selection committee is governed by AU staff regulations, but Dr Ashebir W. Gayo chose to ignore them due to his lack of integrity and abuse of power;”

“12. Dr Ashebir W. Gayo makes unilateral decisions by proclaiming himself A Bureau; Dr Ashebir W. Gayo has violated the golden rules approved by the AU's Policy Organs on financial matters, resorting to intimidation and threats against anyone who questions or challenges him.”

On the way forward, the concerned staff recommended that “The Bureau should not be allowed to interfere with the work/functions of the Secretariat. Bureau members are part-timers, and should not take on roles and responsibilities that have not been assigned to them. A clear distinction must be made between Bureau functions and Clerk's Office functions”.

“The PRC should constitute a team of experts to investigate and assess the massive financial irregularities at the PAP, including embezzlement, use of unapproved budget lines, mis-procurement, unapproved overspending/overpayments/underpayments, non-compliance with rules and regulations. The PRC should form a special committee to deal with over 100 outstanding audit findings from external and internal auditors”.

Dr Ashebir W. Gayo must be banned from participating in the day-to-day administration of the Parliament and stop threatening staff. The secretariat should be allowed to do its work under approved rules, procedures, and guidelines. He should be reminded that the role of the Bureau is more of an oversight and not in the kitchen minding the day-to-day activities”.

Hon. Milles Sampa has lost all credibility as the Chairman of the Audit Committee to provide oversight, he has been on the front line of violating the rules and regulations that his role is a custodian of by implementing illegal orders. We therefore call on the PRC and the Parliament to immediately remove him as the Chairman of the Audit Committee. He has failed his mission as the guardian of compliance”.

“The position of the Clerk of Parliament is a technical one and thus remains apolitical. The Clerk of Parliament and legally hired secretariat staff should therefore be protected from political gains and threats. The attempt to suspend the Clerk is intended to weaken the office of the Clerk and subject it to manipulation. The staff of Parliament must therefore be protected from intimidation, abuse, and harassment by the Bureau; and PAP staff must be protected by AU Rules and Regulations and allowed to discharge their duties.”

The concerned staff therefore called on the policy organs of the Union to act to save the PAP and put an end to the impunity caused by Dr Ashebir W. Gayo who they allege, has “created a poisoned working environment that disrupted the social climate of the PAP”.


  1. Sees something a conspiracy to attack the guy!

  2. Even before Gayo that parliament was always in the media for the wrong reason. So something must be wrong with it. Why focus on Gayo all the time??


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