Chief Charumbira calls for PAP reform
Zvamaida Murwira in Midrand, South Africa
The Pan African Parliament has today commemorated its 19th year anniversary since its formation with the president of the continental legislative assembly, Chief Fortune Charumbira calling for more funding and independence of the organisation to effectively discharge its oversight role in line with its founding principles.
Chief Charumbira said there was need to reform PAP so that it captures changes that have occurred over the years both in national parliaments and in the continent as a whole, that include inviting African Union Commissioners to come and respond to questions in plenary.
Chronicling the history of PAP, Chief Charumbira said while the Organisation of African Union which later became AU was founded in 1963, PAP came into being in 2004 as a result of the need to give citizens a voice.
“It was argued then that the citizens of the African continent should be part of the Union in terms of the way it does business. It is bringing or affording citizens a voice. That is how PAP came into being. It was as a result of a realisation of a mistake. This thing came from the founders themselves. You can’t wish it away,” said Chief Charumbira.
He said there was need to realise that the role of parliaments globally is to play an oversight role and this means PAP should provide checks and balances for AU, a role he said had not be realised.
He said the African Union Commission formulated policies, implemented it and monitored it yet the role of oversight should be conferred on PAP.
Today’s commemoration was characterized by traditional dance with Chief Charumbira donning an African attire.