Chief Charumbira elected PAP president

30 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Chief Charumbira elected PAP president Chief Charumbira

The Herald

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

THE president of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira, has been elected the new Pan African Parliament (PAP) president, becoming the first person from the Southern African region to lead the organisation.

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 yesterday. There were 31 abstentions and 11 spoilt votes.

Speaking after his election, Chief Charumbira reiterated the concern of stakeholders that the PAP has not lived up to expectation, saying change was coming and he is the right man to bring it.

“We need to accept this fact and my presidency will seek to deepen the understanding as to why PAP has not performed, and I will work with all of you.

“I stand here to declare that I am the right candidate to lead the process of transformation of the Pan African Parliament,” he said.

“I have been acting president of this Parliament before, for three months last year. I have (also) been vice president. I promise I will lead with excellence. I chaired a couple committees of this Parliament.

“PAP needs to be reformed, there are a lot of issues affecting MPs.”

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 push to have the principle disregarded so that they could be allowed to continue fielding their candidates.

Initial efforts to hold the elections were aborted in May last year after the Southern Africa caucus insisted that the election of the president of the institution should rotate among the five regions of the AU namely, North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa.

“I want to express deep gratitude for that confidence by the caucus, but it all arises from the confidence and trust placed in me by Zimbabwe through His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, who also endorsed my candidature to come and contest at this high level,” said Chief Charumbira.

AU Commission chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, told the South African media that the new leadership faced a myriad of challenges on the continent.

“The unfortunate events that took place in May/June 2021 on the occasion of the election of the bureaus have tarnished the image of this institution and that of an entire continent.

“The time has come that we turn this very sad page to the annals of history and start a new page. It’s time to renew your behaviour and be a source of pride for the African Union.”

After his election, Chief Charumbira said he is the right person to unify a divided house.

Last year, parliamentarians had a dispute over the election of a new PAP president leading to the suspension of the session.

But this year, the election of Chief Charumbira was smooth sailing.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF proportional representative MP for Seke-Chikomba constituency, Cde Tatenda Mavetera, was on Tuesday sworn-in as a member of the Pan African Parliament at its ongoing meeting in Midrand, South Africa.

Cde Mavetera replaces Cde Barbra Rwodzi who was recently appointed Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

Cde Mavetera, who is also a member of the Speaker’s pool in the National Assembly, thanked President Mnangagwa for affording youths’ opportunities to assume leadership positions in various sectors.

“I am grateful to His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for accommodating young people in various positions of power and for me, it’s a great honour as a young woman that we now have an opportunity to air out our views on various issues concerning women.

“The moment we speak at the Pan African Parliament level, it will cascade down to each country on the continent,” Cde Mavetera said.

She added that the appointment would also provide her with an opportunity to learn through interactions with senior parliamentarians from various countries.

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