PAP president says parliament is trying to restore its battered image

The PAP’s Strategic Reorientation Workshop on “Reviving, Renewing, Repositioning and Reinvigorating the Pan-African Parliament“ is happening in Midrand, South Africa this week.

The PAP’s Strategic Reorientation Workshop on “Reviving, Renewing, Repositioning and Reinvigorating the Pan-African Parliament“ is happening in Midrand, South Africa this week.

Published Aug 24, 2022


The Pan-African (PAP) president, Fortune Charumbira, has given a scorecard of his Bureau since their inauguration on June 29 at the ongoing August Sittings of the Permanent Committees of the sixth Parliament of the PAP in Midrand, South Africa.

The workshops are currently under way until September 2.

The August Sittings of the Permanent Committees of the sixth Parliament of the PAP will be guided by the AU theme of 2022; Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development.

Presenting a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Strategic Reorientation Workshop for Members, Charumbira noted that the Bureau had been trying to restore the battered image of the parliament, especially after the unfortunate incidents of May 31 and June 1, 2021, that led to the suspension of parliamentary activities.

“We, as members of the Bureau, heard your clarion call and have, therefore, shaped our agenda and administrative strategic principles to reflect those priorities; I think it will be prudent that I outline a few of the actions that we have undertaken since assuming office to achieve this manifest desire to revive, renew, reposition and reinvigorate our legislative body,” said Charumbira.

According to Charumbira, the Bureau has actualised the confirmatory statement made in support of the principle of rotational leadership by ensuring that it is cascaded throughout all the structures of the PAP.

“For the first time in the history of our institution, each region now chairs at least two committees, deputises in at least two committees and has at least two rapporteurs.

“In so doing, your Bureau has underlined its commitment to the abiding values of fairness, equity and justice within the PAP by ensuring that no region exercises undue dominance over the other.”

Charumbira said Africans can rest assured knowing that the Bureau intends to follow the same procedure in the recruitment of staff to vacant positions in order to guarantee that the cosmopolitan nature of the continent is reflected even in the staff complement at the institution.

Charumbira also said one of the founding principles of the Pan-African Parliament was to facilitate co-operation between regional economic communities in Africa and their parliamentary fora.

Charumbira attended the first official speaking engagement as president of the Pan African Parliament at the 51st Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum in Lilongwe, Malawi.

According to the PAP president, this mission was in furtherance of PAP’s commitment to strengthening regional parliamentary co-operation and relationships.

“This was also in recognition of the fact that collaborative and mutual engagements of PAP and regional bodies such as SADC PF embody the best hope for regional integration which is integral to the actualisation of the foundational objectives of PAP,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau also embarked on a mission to re-engage the Executive Council of the AU and the AU Commission at the AU 4th Mid-Year Co-ordination Meeting at the 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Lusaka, Zambia.

Charumbira further highlighted the improved relations of PAP with other organisations.

“It is gratifying to note that there is a rekindled spirit and interest to embrace PAP’s agenda with an overwhelming expression of support for PAP’s institutional programmes. Since then, there has been an unprecedented number of ambassadors and national Parliaments expressing support for the Bureau, requesting courtesy calls and/or inviting the Bureau and the PAP to participate in various parliamentary activities,” he said.

Charumbira stressed their commitment to mainstream gender issues and ensure that affirmative guidelines on gender equity and inclusiveness were prioritised.

He said in repositioning the PAP within the AU governance architecture, the Bureau had also taken initiatives towards forging lasting relationship with organs and agencies of the union.

“Along the sidelines of the Executive Council Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, and again on August 17, the Bureau met the AU Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, in a bid to resolve some of the challenges that limit our ability to achieve the Union’s objectives of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa and our mandate as representatives of the people.

“This engagement has enabled us to address issues around the framework for collaboration, including but not limited to, election observation missions, Fact-finding missions, the African Governance Architecture and the role of the PAP in the ratification of AU Legal Instruments. As a result of these engagements, I am pleased to report to you that PAP parliamentarians have now been re-engaged in Election Observer Missions.

“As part of the image building, engagement and re-engagement process, we will also be convening a strategic retreat with the PRC hopefully before the end of September.

“Members will agree with me that over the years the PAP’s relationship with the AU has significantly deteriorated to a point where serious questions and concerns were raised relating to the image of PAP, the lack of respect for AU decisions, the failure to adhere to institutional regulations, and what they perceived as the absence of viable results to underscore the PAP’s legislative mandate.”