THE unassailable victory of Chief Fortune Charumbira’s election to the position of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) president is a great gesture of honour and vote of confidence by Africa to Zimbabwe, and the Southern African region, President Mnangagwa has said.
He made the remarks in his congratulatory letter to Chief Charumbira for making history by becoming the first person from the Southern African region to lead the organisation.
President Mnangagwa assured Zimbabwe’s full support to Chief Charumbira’s shift at the helm of Africa’s legislative arm.
He said the magnitude of the victory is a clear indication that Chief Charumbira’s presidency enjoys strong support across Africa’s five regions.
“On behalf of Government, the people of Zimbabwe, my family, and indeed on my behalf, I wish to heartily congratulate you, Chief Charumbira, on your historic election as the first ever Southern African president of the Pan African Parliament, PAP,” wrote President Mnangagwa.
“Your election to chair the top legislative arm of our African continent is more than a personal triumph; it is a great gesture of honour and a vote of confidence by Africa firstly to our nation, Zimbabwe, and to our Southern African region as a whole.
“What adds to my joy was the landslide vote your candidacy commanded, itself a clear indication that your presidency enjoys strong support across Africa’s five regions.”
Chief Charumbira won the PAP presidency with a resounding victory of 161 votes from a possible total of 203 votes during elections held at a session of the continental legislative body in Midrand, South Africa last week. There were 31 abstentions and 11 spoiled votes.
Chief Charumbira was Sadc’s sole candidate for the PAP elections after the African Union upheld a contention by legislators from the Southern African region to allow them to field a candidate as part of the principle of rotation enshrined in the PAP constitutive Act.
The decision to support the candidature of Chief Charumbira came after the AU backed Sadc’s stance that it was time for Southern African countries to assume the presidency of PAP after Western and Northern countries sought to have the principle disregarded so that they could be allowed to continue fielding their candidates.
President Mnangagwa said he has confidence in Chief Charumbira’s leadership credentials.
“As I pay tribute to our continent, and to our Southern Africa region which acted as one in canvassing continental support for your presidency, I am only fully conscious of your outstanding personal credentials and vast leadership skills which made your candidacy and eventual ascendancy possible and deserved respectively.
“Today our whole nation shares and rejoices in your historic triumph, confidently knowing you will acquit yourself remarkably well as you discharge your onerous duties in the office of president of PAP,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Even more overjoyed should be your colleagues in the Chief’s Council of Zimbabwe, and in similar bodies from different jurisdictions of our continent who see in your ascendency a blend of African tradition and modern statecraft, both of which should have a place in our institutions, and certainly should be brought to bear in equal measure in managing the affairs of the apex legislature for our continent.”
President Mnangagwa reminded Chief Charumbira that a lot awaits his leadership of PAP, itself a key instrument and veritable institution in shaping the legislative agenda and milieu of the continent on its long journey towards fulfilling its collective blueprint of Vision 2063.
“Let me assure you, Mister president, that Zimbabwe joins the rest of our region and our continent in pledging her fullest support to you personally, and to your esteemed office as you discharge your duties and fulfil the mission of PAP.
“Please accept, Mister president, assurances of my highest consideration,” wrote President Mnangagwa.